MEASURING AND MANAGING ABSENTEEISM IN THE WORKPLACE
Productivity loss due to absenteeism is a serious growing challenge. We live in an absenteeism culture. Talking a day off and calling in sick is supported and encouraged by the society. Many people’s attitude is” The time is coming to us” (Robert F.Allen and Michael Higgens- the Absenteeism Culture. Becoming attendance oriented.) Unscheduled absenteeism is on the rise and the rates of absenteeism are at their highest since 1999. The major concern is that almost two out of three employees who do not show up aren’t physically ill or have challenging issues. Absence measurement and management is an increasingly growing body of knowledge and experience that managers apply to control and reduce absenteeism and its accruing costs. To ensure that the issue of absenteeism is effectively addressed, managers and supervisors-armed with the required guidance and training, need to understand the circumstances and factors surrounding absenteeism in the workplace, and thus actively participate in the company’s procedures and policies to effective curb absenteeism in the workplace. Employers attempt to cut down excessive employee absenteeism through tighter controls. They demand doctor’s report or use some other punitive mechanisms that targets symptoms of absenteeism rather than its causes. The problem will not go away unless the underlying root causes are removed. Building an attendance culture!
How should absenteeism effectively be managed? Triggers or incentives? / Carrots or sticks? Introduction:
Absenteeism from workplace has been on the increase and may be an indicative of poor morale, lack of motivation, sick building syndrome, poor organizational polities or mere indiscipline from the employees. However, many employers have introduced and implemented absence policies which make no distinction between absence for genuine reasons or illness and absence for inappropriate reasons. One of these policies is the calculation of the Bradford Factor, which only factors total number and frequency of individual absence into account, neglecting the kind of absence. 40 million days are lost each year in the UK, due to workplace absenteeism,93% of employees say cold and flu are the reason for being away from work, but research has shown that in reality, half of absenteeism in the workplace has nothing whatsoever to do with health. Workers decide to stay away from work for a host of other reasons relating to work and personal issues, which range from job de-motivation, low pay, lack of work life balance and occasional hangover. Absenteeism has been viewed traditionally as a breach of an implicit contract between employee and employer, as a management problem and has been framed in economic terms. This report will critically discuss the causes and effects of absenteeism in the workplace with the view to derive effective ways to measure and manage absenteeism. It will seek to understand absenteeism as an indicator of psychological, social adjustment to work. 1. What do we mean by Absenteeism?
According to dictionary reference.com, Absenteeism can be defined as habitual failure to appear, especially for work and other regular duty. The rate occurrence of habitual absence from work or duty. Absenteeism can be viewed as re-occurring absence from work, duty and obligation, thought to reflect employee demoralization or dissatisfaction. This can also be viewed as a breach of the implicit contract that exists between the employer and the employed. Simply put, Failure to report to or stay at work when scheduled is tagged absenteeism. 1.1 Absenteeism can be grouped into two categories -
Involuntary/Innocent absenteeism: This is when absences are unavoidable and understandable. For instance Absences due to death in the family
Pregnancy or Maternity issues
Absences caused by illness or injury
Car/ vehicle issues
Other family related or personal issues
Accidents and natural disasters...
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