"I once called a sick crew member from Virgin Atlantic to see how she was doing, only to be told that she couldn’t hear who was on the phone as it was too noisy at Ascot! It wasn’t much of an excuse but more of a case of not covering her tracks!
Ever since we started Virgin, we’ve always worked hard to keep our staff happy and healthy. We believe that if you look after your staff first the rest will follow – a happy workforce is a healthier workforce. Within our Virgin Management headquarters, we run a range of initiatives to help our people stay healthy. Fresh fruit and salad is available free of charge. We have a flexible working policy, allowing staff to work from home or stagger their hours. Plus all employees can take part in the Virgin Pulse programme, which monitors their exercise levels and encourages them to get active.
Last year we introduced unlimited leave for Virgin Management and Virgin Unite; and while the announcement caused a quite a stir, we’ve already seen the benefits. By treating and trusting our staff like the smart and capable adults they are, they return the respect with outstanding productivity. We truly believe that if you take care of your employees, they will take care of your business.
These are just some of the initiatives we’ve implemented to help us achieve a healthy and motivated workforce. With these ideas in place, it’s rare we see staff members ‘pulling a sickie’ – instead they arrange their work schedule to help them best achieve a healthy work-life balance. "
Branson, Richard. "The Best Excuse I've Ever Heard for Calling in Sick." Virgin.com. Virgin, 2 Feb. 2015. Web. 3 Feb. 2015. <http://www.virgin.com/richard-branson/the-best-excuse-ive-ever-heard-for-calling-in-sick>.