As CIPD Ireland opens its Annual Conference and Workshop in Croke Park today, Professor Sir Cary Cooper, President of the CIPD and keynote speaker, highlights the problem of ‘sickness presenteeism’ at work and the cost of poor mental health and well-being to organisations.

Figures estimate that the cost of ‘presenteeism’ - where employees are attending work even though they are unwell and unable to perform at their best - for UK employers is per year*. Professor Cooper will discuss how stress and workplace conflict affect mental health and organisational cultures, and the consequences of physical health issues to employee engagement and productivity.

Ahead of the conference from the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, Professor Cooper comments:

 'Stress related absence is high in most EU countries. The challenge is to create good places to work, where people are managed by praise and reward and not fault-finding and word overload, where they are trusted to work more flexibly and where they have better balance in their lives'.

The theme of this year’s conference in Croke Park is ‘HR shaping engagement and well-being to improve performance’ and highlights the need to build organisations that will not only attract and retain top talent, but also support and build resilience in employees, many of whom have survived turbulent times over the last few years. Ireland’s Human Resources community will hear from speakers on ways of supporting greater people engagement and developing well-being cultures that will improve the overall performance of organisations.

Leadership Coach Dr Tara Swart, CEO of The Unlimited Mind and Senior Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management, will be the second keynote speaker of the conference. She will also be facilitating a half-dayNeuroscience for Leaders workshop on 16 June, where she will introduce key concepts from neuroscience that can inform leadership and unleash high performance in teams and organisations.

Mary Connaughton, Director CIPD Ireland, commented:

 'The changing nature of work and the improving economy in Ireland demands new ways of thinking from the HR profession and business leaders. We need to design better jobs and create work places where people can be at their best, develop meaningful careers and continuously upskill in line with business needs. Having a healthy workforce not only benefits the individual, but can significantly improve organisational performance and create a healthier bottom-line. That’s why employers, the government and HR community need to work together to build an integrated approach to well-being for all working environments and help individuals experience better work and working lives.

'We’re delighted to be bringing you inspiration and food for thought from a wide variety of thought leaders, practitioners and consultants across the HR industry, who will present their innovative approaches to engagement and well-being during our conference sessions. We also look forward to welcoming our exhibitors, who will be showcasing their creative solutions to help organisations succeed in today’s fast-paced world of work.'

CIPD Ireland is holding its annual conference in Croke Park on Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 June 2016.

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