Managing Absenteeism

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Date: 1 March 2004

1. Introduction1
2.Reasons for absenteeism1
3.Effects of absenteeism2
4.Conclusions 4
5. Bibliography 5


Absenteeism is a costly and disruptive problem and places unnecessary pressure on staff that are at work. Until they investigate, companies normally do not realise the cost of absenteeism until they actually measure it.

2.Reasons for absenteeism

According to Van der Merwe (1988:7-8) the reasons for absenteeism can be divided in three categories, namely personal factors, organisational factors and attitudinal factors.
Markowich (1996:116) states that some employees have the mentality that the "time is due to me - whether I'm sick or not", or see sick leave as "use-or-lose benefits".
3.Effects of absenteeism

Absenteeism has many devastating effects on organisations all around the world.

Perry (1997:9) states that:

"The real cost of chronic absenteeism then is lowered morale among other employees who must shoulder the work load, lost revenue from sales not made, the loss of customers who flee to competitors for better service, a decline in business from poor service and the expense of additional temporary workers."


What became clear in this study was that it is extremely important for staff to see that absenteeism would not be tolerated, otherwise it would lead to worsening absenteeism and a host of other negative effects on the workers and on the organisation. The sooner management and supervisors act on absenteeism, the better for the department, organisation and the employees.

It is important to realise that there are many success stories in business where absenteeism was reduced to an acceptable rate.

Markowich, M M. Eckberg, S. 1996. Get control of the absentee-minded....
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