Organizational Behaviour Absenteeism And Efficiency Management Essay

Nowadays, absenteeism is one of the most important factor that affect the organization’s effectiveness and efficiency. The changeable nature of workplace absenteeism affects directly to employers who must take steps to replace the absent worker, adjust and adapt schedules where the level of cost for the company increase in terms of sick pay, lost of productivity, poor quality and delays. According to Lillie Guinell and Jeanne Herman in their study “Perceived Consequences of Absenteeism”, the factors that motivated worker absenteeism include: break from routine, family activities, personal illness, break from supervisor, family illness, and time with friends, family functions, personal business, break from co-workers, transportation, leisure time, house maintenance. Also, the stress and work environment are another key factors that affect the absence. For that reason, the employers must start to re-evaluate the conditions within company and determined how these conditions help to motivate absenteeism between employees.

Firstly, the cost which is involved in absenteeism is an important issue that the companies must to manage and measure. According to survey “The Total financial Impact of Employee Absences” done by Mercer, the full cost of employee absences is very significant, amounting to 36% of payroll. Managers know that these absences do affect an organization’s customer service, staffing and business objectives. However, absences have three areas of financial impact: direct cost, indirect cost and Administrative expenses.

Direct costs: benefit provided to an employee for time not worked. For example, vacation and a short-term disability.

Indirect costs: these costs represent the real impact to the organization as a result of the absence. There are two components: Replacement labor expenses (the costs for employers to have other individuals do the work that an absent employee is unable to do, costs for overtime, temporary labor, and outside contractors) and Net lost productivity value (salary and benefits/other HR costs as a percentage of payroll for the percentage of work not fully covered by replacements or by exempt employees working longer hours).

Administrative costs: additional costs an employer bears for internal staff, software, office space and equipment or for an outside organization to administer absence benefits

To quote from www.bbc.co.uk “To Business the Economy £10 bn cost of sick leave”, absence from work costs British industry £10.2bn a year where the principal causes are mainly minor illnesses, stress and family responsibilities. Also, more than 530 firms for the Confederation of British Industry estimated that 200m days were lost through sickness absence last year, an average of 8.5 days per worker and the cost to business works out at £426 for every employee, while 3.7% of all working time was lost.

Companies must the challenge of control and measure absenteeism which is a critical factor. For that reason, it needs to start to evaluate how is their management style because this is a factor that has strong influence on employee’s stress. For example, when the management styles are extremely authoritarian, it promotes high levels of absenteeism among employees. Because in this case, managers have poor listening skills, lack communication and they are inflexible and put a lot of pressure on employee. To quote from the case study Changing work patterns at Lloyds TSB, absenteeism often increase when these pressures become too much. Research shows that people who are free to concentrate on their job without conflict with other commitments are much more efficient workers. Style of leader and management play an important role and they have the responsibility to increase the commit within employees and the challenge of manage issues from the staff such as the pressure of a career set against a background of family responsibilities

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Moreover, for employees are important fell motivated in their workplace because it puts more energy into work in order to achieve the goals and objectives. If employees are confident to take pride in what they do, the level of absenteeism will be low because they fell happy to go work in a place where has met their needs.

Also, when the employers provide an ideal atmosphere within organization, the employees will be more productive and competitive and they will enjoy working and give the best. In fact, there are different ways that the employers can use for motivate their employees which help to improve the performance of the company and control the absenteeism level. First of all, to give employees more responsibility and decision-making authority increases their realm of control over the tasks for which they are held responsible and better equips them to carry out those tasks. Secondly, when it is used the exchange of ideas and experiences between employees, give to the company the ability to respond proactive to markets trends and develop a competitive advantage. Also, employee’s skills are the most important intangible resource in the company. Companies have the challenge of motivate employees through programs which helps to improve their skills and attitudes. As a result, employees will be motivated to go to the workplace and give the best and growing in their careers.

For example, Siemens the engineering group care about their employees and they knows when the employee are motivated because they shows that learn faster, have more ideas, they are less likely to cause accidents and make mistakes. But achieve this motivation is a challenge for all companies because it is expensive and it is not easy. On the other hand, the Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS), one of the largest financial institutions in the world. It has put in place several of motivators where employees get recognition for good work and RBS has a collective sense of achievement when the whole business does well

Furthermore, giving employees incentives is one strategy that company uses for reduce the level of absenteeism. According to Gary Vikesland in his article How to Deal with Employee Absenteeism, some companies allow employees to cash-in unused sick days at the end of every quarter, others give an employee two hours of bonus pay for every month of perfect attendance; and still others provide employees with a buffet lunch, a certificate of achievement, or even a scratch-off card concealing prizes. It is important to start with small incentives and work up to larger ones. For example, The RBS Total Reward package offers flexible pension funding, health and medical benefits, paid holidays, and a confidential advice service. Employees have a generous holiday allowance (between 25 and 30 days for full-time staff), with the option of buying or even selling days. Employees may also choose from a wide range of lifestyle benefits, including discounted shopping vouchers, childcare facilities and RBS financial products, such as mortgages, currency exchange, personal loans and banking at special staff discounted rates.

Moreover, monetary and other rewards generate cost-savings or process improving ideas, to boost productivity and reduce absenteeism. Money is effective when it is directly tied to an employee’s ideas or accomplishments. This incentive must to be coupled with other motivators, if not this strategy will not work. For example, if the employees gets a good salary, and bonus but they are working in a bad atmosphere where the principal felling is stress, the motivation will be affected and they do not fell motivation to go in the workplace. For that reason, nonmonetary incentives are more effective motivators; employers who recognize the advance and goals from their employees and treat them with respect and giving sincere praise are more effective and economical than awards with just money.

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In the same vein, another issue that has influence on absenteeism is job satisfaction which has relation with attitudes. To quote from Management and Organizational Behaviour by LAURIE J. MULLINS, in recent years attention to job satisfaction has become more closely associated with broader approaches to improved job design and work organisation, and the quality of working life movement, and with stress and the work life balance. Job satisfaction is a complex concept and difficult to measure by managers, there are different variables which influence on it such as individual factors (personality, education, abilities, intelligence), social factors (group working and norms, relationships), cultural factors (beliefs and values), organizational factors (personnel policies, employee relations, nature of work, technology and work organization, styles of leadership and working conditions) and environmental.

In addition, one of the influences on job satisfaction, work performances and absenteeism is stress at work. It can affect the employee’s behaviour, where feelings such as tension and frustration are the principal elements of it. According to Health and Safety Executive (HSE) stress is a significant cause of illness and disease and is known to be linked with high levels of sickness absence, staff turnover and other indicators of organizational underperformance

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However, Recent statistics confirm that About 1 in 7 people say that they find their work either very or extremely stressful (Psychosocial working conditions in Britain in 2007 HSE 2007), in 2005/06 just under half a million people in Great Britain reported experiencing work-related stress at a level they believed was making them ill, depression and anxiety are the most common stress-related complaints seen by GPs, affecting 20% of the working population of the UK. Moreover, results from the Labour Force Survey HSE 2007 shown that when stress leads to absence, the average length of sick leave is 30.1 days, this average is much higher than the average length of sick leave for work-related illness in general (21.2 days). Finally, a total of nearly 11 million working days were lost to stress, depression and anxiety in 2005/06.

On the other hand, there are different methods which help to control the absenteeism in the company. Firstly, an attendance policy allows a manager to intervene with an employee who is frequently absent. In this policy the company need to design absenteeism rate as a standard objective and then put it as part of the performance appraisal system and give a target with number. Besides, company must make additional regulation to reduce pay on their absence day. If company want to use this method, it needs to check the local legal regulations and policies before apply.

To quote from the article “Best Ways to Introduce an Attendance Policy” by Krystle Hernandez, Companies must to allocate a specific number of sick days, vacation days, or more generally encompassing “personal days” to their employees in order to provide flexibility within policy. Ideally, attendance policies would all be flexible and custom-tailored to individual needs, but this is rarely ever the case and it is very economically unfeasible for many organizations which require employees to be actively involved in certain projects, events, or tasks from 9 am to 5 pm. However, it is important to note that each individual is unique and therefore maintains individual work habits. Some employees may produce more efficiently if they are given plenty time off to recover from the stress they put themselves under during their work. In other words, each employee has different needs, therefore any corporate attendance policies, if implemented, should be used as a basic guide which can be modified to increase individual productivity rather than serving as a set of regulations which, when broken, can result in severe penalties.

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In the same vein, According to F. John Reh, About.com, Employee Assistance Program (EAP) helps employers to cover all or part of the cost for employees to receive counselling, referrals, and advice in dealing with stressful issues in their lives. These may include substance abuse, bereavement, marital problems, weight issues, and anxiety that may be keeping them away from the workplace. As Peter L Mitchell said, there are some basic rules for designing an effective absentee program. First of all, the staffs needs to know what level of attendance is expected from them and what the consequences are if they meet the expectations and the consequences if they fail to meet the expectations. Secondly, measure and track absenteeism and record the performance in graph form which is posted in a public area. Then, give feedback on attendance by discussing absenteeism with the staff on a regular basis. Also, it is important help employees to maintain or improve their attendance records by discussing their reasons for not attending work and offering some solutions. However, motivate the staff it is a good way where it is recognise good attendance performance by having regular meetings with staff and making sure that attendance is a regular agenda item.

Finally, manager needs to deal with ill health, HSE is a helpful guide for employeers and managers where it is explain how employers and employees can work together to hasten a return of work and minimized the effect of illness caused. To quote from www.hse.gov.uk, the strategy of HSE represents a clear statement of core principles and a sensible approach to health and safety in Great Britain.Whilst the economic climate is difficult and the temptation for some may be to cut corners, HSE, its partners and businesses must resolve to continue to strive to improve health and safety performance. Good health and safety is good business.

To sum up, absenteeism has a significant financial impact to the company. To avoid these losses, the employees need to be motivated and committed in order to reduce the level of absenteeism. Research shows that people are more productive and experience less stress when they have control over the hours they work. Therefore, flexible working helps to gain the long term commitment and motivation of well qualified and experienced staff.

However, Job satisfaction is more of an internal state; it could be associated with a feeling of personal achievement. The level of job satisfaction is affected by individual, social, organisational and cultural variables. Also, one of the major adverse influences on job satisfaction, performance, work sickness absence and productivity is stress at work where a certain amount of stress may possibly not be a bad thing but help to promote a higher level of performance.

On the other hand, employers are facing a significant employee absenteeism problem where it means a increase of costs, future turnover problems and lost of productivity. For that reason, employers need to avoid these losses; having employee satisfaction surveys and acting on them, rewarding employees for good attendance, and making employees feel valued and respected are just a few ways employers can help start to reduce their own employee absenteeism problem in the workplace.

For all companies attendance is an important issue that help it to reach their goals and it is a challenge improve the conditions in the workplace and achieve motivation between employees when they are working within company.

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