Causes And Types Of Absence Management Essay

The unscheduled absence from work, either for short or long periods for health reasons. Absence control is an essentially negative term, implying that, were it not for management involvement, non-attendance would be widespread. It seems that there has been a shift away from the more punitive approach of ‘absence control’ in favour of more progressive ‘attendance management’ strategies which aim to provide a working environment which maximizes and motivates employee attendance.

1.1. Types of Absence

Involuntary (beyond their control)

Voluntary (within employees Control)

2. Effect of Absenteeism

The effects of absenteeism are common. Absenteeism leads to

Reduce employee productivity

Reduce employee moral

Increase employee overhead cost and

Reduce or effect company performance

The main causes of absence can be viewed as four distinct categories:

3. Causes of Absence

3.1 Health & Lifestyle Factors

Genuine illness/poor health (this can be due to stress).

Smoking (Stress or family problem) .

Excessive use of alcohol (with friends or family party)

Lack of exercise

Body weight ( causes of high blood pressure, heart problem etc)

3.2 Workplace Factors

Working patterns (this can be style of working for example, high pressure , reporting to different person and long hours).

Health & safety concerns (health and safety causes different illness, this can be building setting environment that is against health and safety)

Travel times (morning time or night time example is if employees travel on public transport they can face problem to get transport especially in night time)

Excessive hours (like late night, weekend)

3.3 Attitudinal & Stress Factors

Job satisfaction (dissatisfaction may cause absenteeism, reason are no fair PA system in the organization , pay raises are not performance basis , rewards are given on equity basis.)

Career satisfaction (if job is not career oriented then employs may not satisfied with the job then he/she may not take interest in job)

Intention to leave( if the jobs are temporary or on contract basis, then employees may not take interest because they knows that soon job is going to be end so therefore they absence from work).

Organizational commitment (if organization commitment or mission is so high mean job is tough and the organization is not willing to provide resources and attractive wages and facilities then employees may not take interest in organization commitment or objective

Stress (the one of the main factor of absenteeism is stress, there are different causes of stress, due employees cannot produce well participate organization object.

Absence ‘culture’ ( this dependent organization internal culture, like formal or inform structure)

3.4 Domestic & Relationship Factors


No. of children under 16

Lack of flexible working arrangements

There are number of different theory in organization behavior that provides method or procedure to organization, how to overcome employee’s absenteeism or other problem like (Stress, de-motivation) in the organization. These are the two type of theories

4. Content theory

Content theories assume that all individuals possess the same set of needs and therefore prescribe the characteristics that ought to be present in jobs.

5. Maslow Hierarchy Theory:

Maslow outlined the most influential of content theories. He suggested that hierarchy of need up which movement or progress. Once individual have satisfied one need then it cease to motivate their behavior and they are motivated to the next level up the hierarchy.

5.1 Low Level Needs

Physiological (like food, water, shelter and clothing to ensure survival)

Safety (needs for security, stability and safe work environment)

Belongingness or Social (such as need for satisfactory and supportive relationships, friendship and love

Organization Example of low level needs

Having and sustaining good relations with co-worker, supervisor and being a member of cohesive work team and being a member part of social functions at work having good job beneficent, safe working area and job security guaranteed minimum pay level that is sufficient to provide basic necessities

5.2 High Level Needs

Esteem (The need to feel good about oneself and one abilities and to be respected to others and receive their approval (Company promotes diverging manages and recognize employees with rewards)

Self-Actualization (the need to reach one’s fullest potential) only small proportion of population achieve this level (example an engineer use all of his design skill to create a new subcomponent)

If the employees needs as I describe above fulfill and the employees are satisfied with their needs then may be absenteeism rate will be lower. So organization should fulfill the basic need of employees to overcome the absenteeism and stress.

This theory was not planned as an explanation of motivation in the workplace; however, many managerial theorists have enthusiastically adopted it.

6. Herzberg two factor theory or Motivator Hygiene Theory

Herzberg two factor theory describe motivators and hygiene factor and proposed that job satisfaction and dissatisfaction appeared to be caused by two sets of different factors. The presence of motivators in the workplace caused continuing states of motivation in employees but their absence did not lead to dissatisfaction. Hygiene on the other hand produced an acceptable working environment but did not increase satisfaction; their absence did however cause job dissatisfaction.

6.1 Motivator Factor





Intrinsic aspects of the job

6.2 Hygiene Factors



Work environment

Company policies

Relationships with colleagues

This theory suggests how people job can be redesign to incorporate more motivators.

7. Process Theory

Process theories stress the difference in people’s needs and focus on the cognitive processes that create these differences.

These are the process theory

Equity Theory, Expectancy theory and goal setting theory

7.1 Equity Theory

In equity theory employees looking and observing what efforts other people are putting into their work and then compare the reward and wages of others like

My raise compared to Co-worker

My efforts and Performance co-worker efforts and performance

To make comparisons, an employee usually selects a comparison others. The comparison other can be another employee, or all of other employees in a particular department of profession. If employee feel the result of social judgment seem fare then employee is satisfied and which level of extrinsic and intrinsic rewards, and produce good result and concentrate their job and then absenteeism rate will be very low, if employee feel any stage of work unfair then employee is unsatisfied and de-motivated and then he/she try to find new job and then absenteeism rate will be greater. Organization should treat all employees on equity basis not favoritism basis, if organization deal or treat all employees under same rules and equity bases then employees will produce good result. If employees are happy with rewards system then they will not absent from job.

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7.2 Expectancy Theory (Valence, instrumentality and expectancy (VIE) theory)

Valence is defined as the personal attractiveness of different outcomes. If an outcome such as a promotion has a positive valence, then the employee is strongly pulled to those behaviors which make that outcome more likely.

Negative valence is attached to undesirable outcomes. Thus, being criticized publicly by the boss is negatively valet for most employees. The concept of valence is highly personal and value laden. Our teachers, parents, coworkers and superiors all influence our assigned valences for the outcomes we receive in life.

The contribution of both type of process theory has been to highlight the efforts of cognitive and perceptual processes on objective work conditions. Manager should need to pay attention to four main aspects of their subordinates’ perceptions.

Focus on employees crucial expectancy values (the link between efforts and the their performance e.g. if employee effort and their performance is high then employee expectation is higher for rewards and promotion , if organization will not success to gave promotion against the employee efforts and performance then employee will de-motivated and not pay consideration on work )

Manger should determine what outcome employee values ( it means manger should gave values and promote employees if they produce good result and should gave rewards, if employee is not producing the result as per standard then manager should advise and guide the employees)

They need to link the reward that subordinates value to their performance ( if performance is high then gave employee rewards on performance basis , if rewards are not given on performance basis then employee will be de-motivated and employee will be absents on job.)

Manager should need to ensure that wages rates are not supposed as inequitable.

7.3 Goal Setting Theory

Locke’s research showed that there was a relationship between how difficult and specific a goal was and people’s performance of a task. He found that specific and difficult goals led to better task performance than unclear or easy goals.

Telling someone to “Try hard” or “Do your best” is less effective than “Try to get more than 80% correct” or “Concentrate on beating your best time.” Likewise, having a goal that’s too easy is not a motivating force. Hard goals are more motivating than easy goals, because it’s much more of an accomplishment to achieve something that you have to work for. These are the five factor of goal setting theory.


Clear goals are measurable, unmistakable, and behavioral. When a goal is clear and specific, with a specific time set for completion, there is less misunderstanding about what behaviors will be rewarded. Employee knows what is expected, and employee can use the specific result as a source of motivation. When a goal is unclear or when it’s expressed as a general instruction, like “Take idea” it has limited motivational value.

To improve employee or team performance, organization must set clear goals that use specific and measurable standard. If goals are unclear or undefined then employee will face problem to complete their task , if employee fail to product result then organization will not gave any incentive to employees then employee feel stress and they will gave proper time to job , so that will be the cause of absenteeism.

7.3.2 Challenge

One of the most important characteristics of goals is the level of challenge. Employees are often motivated by achievement, and they will judge a goal based on the significance of the expected achievement. When employees know that what will they received after getting job achievement its natural phoneme that employees get motivated and they will perform very well. Rewards typically increase for more difficult goals. If employee (he/she) believes rewards or compensation will be given after achieving the job or challenge then he/she will perform very hard to get the goal of the organization. Organization should Setting SMART goals that are relevant links closely to the rewards given for achieving challenging goals. Relevant goals will further the aims of your organization, and these are the kinds of goals that most employers will be happy to reward.

if organization set and specify goal , then the employees knows their goals and achievement, the reward that will given after achieving the goal then employees will not absenteeism because he/she knows that absenteeism decrease their performance and they will not achieve any compensation , if they are fail to complete or achieve their goals .

7.3.3 Commitment

Goals must be understood and agreed upon if they are to be effective. Employees are more likely to “buy into” a goal if they feel they were part of creating that goal. The concept of participative management rests on this idea of involving employees in setting goals and making decisions.

This does not mean that every goal has to be negotiated with employee and approved by employee. It does means that goals should be consistent and in line with previous expectations and organization concerns. As long as the employees believes that his or his goal are computable with the organization goal and the employees believes the person assigning the goal is creditable then the commitment should be there

Interestingly if the goal commitment and difficulty often work together, the harder the goal, then more commitment is required. If organization has easy goals then employees don’t need high level of motivation when employees work in challenge or hard environment then the employee’s expectation is higher for incentive. If organization setting difficult commitment for employees , then organization should also gave incentive and rewards of goal base , if organization is not paying incentive as per goal or commitment then employee ( he/she) get de-motivated then they will not pay consideration to commitment and get start absenteeism so organization should also consider reward and incentive system.

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7.3.4 Feedback

In addition to selecting the right type of goal, an effective goal program organization must also include feedback from employees. Feedback provides opportunities to clarify expectations, adjust goal difficulty, and gain identification. It’s important to provide benchmark opportunities or targets, so individuals can determine for themselves how they are doing and what parameter are required to improve performance .

These regular progress reports, which measure specific success and also organization judge how long take to complete their goals, in these cases organization should break down the goals into smaller portion and feedback regularly.

If organization take feedback regularly bases then the employees give the negative or positive response against goal , so that way employees feel that they are involve in organization goal setting process , naturally the employees got motivated and they will participate more in organization and they will not stressed and not absent more in work .

7.3.5 Task complexity

The last factor in goal setting theory introduces two more requirements for success. For goals or assignments that are highly complex, take special care to ensure that the work doesn’t become too overpowering. People who work in complicated and demanding roles probably have a high level of motivation already. However, they can often push themselves too hard if measures aren’t built into the goal expectations to account for the complexity of the task. It’s therefore important to do the following:

Give the person sufficient time to meet the goal or improve performance.

Provide enough time for the person to practice or learn what is expected and required for success e.g. if employees are newly join the company, training will be provide to employee.

If organization setting goals according the standard and take care their employees then employees will not de-motivated and will achieve the goal in specific time, and absenteeism rate will be very low in the organization.

8. Recommendation

Every organization should have absenteeism control policy that treat individual every one fair bases. Following is the absenteeism policy.

8.1 Absent Control policy

Section 1


It is recognized by the Company that from time to time staff may require to be absent from their place of work due to illness or de-motivation. The length of time lost by employees through illness must however be monitored to ensure that each member of staff is able to do their job, effectively and without putting themselves or others at risk.

Managers will consider cases of sickness absence on an individual basis and ensure the provision of appropriate support, advice and Company Approved Doctor input where appropriate.

Employees who become illness or sickness should inform their manager or head as soon as possible, because manager can arrange alternate.

Section 2

Overview of procedural stages

One return from absence all employees must be interviewed immediately by their line manager for the reason of absent and period of absent and what course of action required for the result of absent. This must be sign be sign both manager and employee before sending the personal file.

In situations where employees’ sickness record is giving some cause for concern then manger will discuss concern with employee and should support and provide counseling to employee.

If there is no improvement in the absenteeism of employee then the line manager would arrange the employee to meet next line manager and who will formally reviewed the employee case. In this stage Employee should provide valid written explanation and give the time of appeasement.

If employee fails to improve in given time scale then a formal second review must be undertaken. If possible then organization should involve more senior manager. Prior the meeting the employee must seen by organization approved doctor who will gave the opinion about the employee health. The employee must be given the result of this meeting in written. The organization should also inform the employee if he/she further absents then he will be terminated.

If there is no improvement within the laid down time scale then a review should be held my appropriate senior manager. The employee must be offered the opportunity for appropriate representation at this time, if there are no special circumstances the employee will be dismissed on the grounds of incapacity and their inability to meet the acceptable standards of attendance required by the Company.

Section 3


Every employee has the right to appeal the result of any formal review stage of the absence procedure. The appeal should be related to one of this

The code of procedure had not been followed correctly.

The resulting action was inappropriate.

The need for action was not warranted.

An appeal should me in written format and write to senior manage. the appeal should be submit within seven days and the appeal of the dismissal should be consider same way.

8.2 Return to work Interview

This is an informal part of the Procedure, however in order to give the process credibility the following rules should be followed

Employee should complete a return to work interview by their immediate manager

The employee should also informed the reason of meeting

The employee should be encouraged to discuss any problem that he having with their health or discuss any problem that cause the reason of absenteeism.

All relevant absence documents must be recorded in employee personal file.

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8.3 Counseling

As the first step in procedure it is very important that the message conveyed is clear and unmistakable.

Prior to counseling, full details of the employee’s absence record along with reasons should be made available to both participants.

The employee should be made aware of the date and location of the Meeting and the reasons for it.

Stage 1

Prior to calling a hearing, full details of absence record along with reasons should be made available to all participants.

The employee should be made aware of the date and location of the Review and the reasons for it.

In addition they should be informed of the right to be represented at the Review.

The employee should be given the opportunity to explain absence records and present any evidence required.

If there are medical problems it may be necessary to adjourn the Meeting for medical advice.

The Manager should set out clearly the improvements expected and the time scale over which these improvements must be achieved.

The employee should be informed in writing of the requirements and the time scale and advised if the warning is to be recorded on his record.

Stage 2

If there has been no improvement in the absence record in the period set at the first Review or there has been a further breach of policy during the lifetime of a written warning then the employee must be informed and asked to attend a Second Review. In addition they should be informed of the right to be represented at the Review.

Medical reports must be required prior to the date of the Meeting and results made available to both parties.

The employee should be given the right to present any evidence in mitigation.

Stage 3

The employee must be given full details of the case and the possible consequences prior to attendance. The employee must also be informed of their right to representation at this meeting.

All medical evidence should be taken and considered before a final decision is taken.

If the decision is taken to dismiss the employee then this should be done by giving full entitlement to notice (even if sick pay is exhausted).

The employee must be informed of their right to appeal against this decision. (See appeals).



Name :——————————————————————-



First Day of Absence ____/____/____      

Last Day of Absence ____/____/____

Total number of days absent ____          

Total number of days off work ____

Is absence due to an injury at work? YES/ NO   

Have you seen a doctor? YES/ NO

Reason for absence

(Please give a brief description of the illness or other reason for absence)


Action Taken:———————————————

(please give a brief description of any action taken to date)

Proposed Course of Action:—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

I understand that if I knowingly provide inaccurate or false information regarding my absence it may result in disciplinary action

Employees Signature

Managers Signature

9. How Organization Behavior Theory In General Related To Every Day Practice?

Organization behavior theories reflect the employee performance on every day practice in organization, there are number of different theories that discuss the employee in different way.

Abraham Maslow believed that the motivation could be explained by human needs into five levels(lower level physiological , safety , belongingness and higher level esteem and self actualization) ,Maslow say if employees the low level of need are fulfill then employees are satisfied and motivated and produce high level of perforce, if employees basic need are not fulfill then employees are de-motivated and will not gave full consideration to work and they got illness through the stress and the start absence. Organization should consider the employee basic need and gave incentive to employee on their performance to reduce the absenteeism.

Herzberg two factor theory Herzberg’s work has influenced thinking in organizational behavior and management. Its most enduring benefit is the attention it focuses on the effects of company systems and job design on employees’ job satisfaction. Here, job design refers to how work is arranged and how much employees control their work. Before Herzberg’s theory, employee job satisfaction was thought of only in extrinsic terms (satisfaction was only a function of pay). He pointed out that the origins of job satisfaction and job dissatisfaction were different. We now know that concentration on hygiene factors will not ensure that organizations have creative, involved, productive and motivated employees.

Stacy Adams, developed equity theory: equity theory makes a contribution to understanding

How employees react to incentives and outcomes in the work setting. In the context of the performance-job satisfaction relationship, equity theory shows how employees react to the available rewards from work in terms of their experienced levels of job satisfaction. In its own right, equity theory is a prominent process theory of motivation.

Employees always comparison their pay and rewards with their collogue, if employee unfairness in any stage then employee get de-motivated and stress. Employee reduces their performance and start absenteeism.

Expectancy theory is a powerful tool for managers. It can help managers to have a better understanding of their subordinates and the organization in which they work. Employee believes the higher level of performance to first level of outcome and he is willing to expand much effort on the job, if it represents a challenge to his skills and abilities.

If the achieving individual believes the organization rewards performance instead of effort, then his instrumentalities will be high and positive. If the achieving employee believes the organization does not equitably reward performance, then he will probably leave. Remember, every frustrated employee with a high need for achievement is a potential entrepreneur!

By using Goal setting theory:

Employees perform better when they know what is expected of them and how they contribute to the effectiveness of the organization.

Most employees prefer self-determination at work.

Employees can be motivated further by well-timed formal and informal feedback about their work methods and results.

Employees prefer intrinsic

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