Analysing the concept of absenteeism

Essay add: 30-10-2015, 10:17   /   Views: 933

If not at least once, we all have been absent from work for one reason or another. Some are absent more than others, but when it takes place on a regular basis then absenteeism is noticeable problem for that company. Absenteeism is defined above the as habitual absence from work, thought to reflect employee demoralization and dissatisfaction. Employee absenteeism is a problem for almost all employers, not to mention a costly one at that. The definition of absenteeism, its causes, its affects on productivity and its costs in term of finances and administrative effectiveness are quite clear, the challenge is in taking affirmative action to control it. People can be absent from work for a number of reason, some of them for a very good reason but whatever the reason, absence is costly and disruptive and needs to handled with skill, understanding and confidence.

What causes employees to skip work? Absenteeism is one of the most serious problem facing today' workplace. Employers must be able to identify what is causing their employees to miss work in order for them to find a solution. The reason for the absences can be divided into two categories as under:-

Internal (within the individual)

Internal causes can include serious accidents and illnesses, transportation problem, stress, low morale, poor physical fitness, inadequate nutrition and personal problem.

External (within the company)

External causes range from poor working conditions, boredom on the job, lack of motivation, lack of job satisfaction, guaranteed salary and workload.

As we can see causes of absenteeism fluctuate and whether they are legit or not they and very much carry on. Absenteeism impose losses on the employer who is also not at fault. The damage suffered by the employer must be weighted. What are some of costs of absenteeism? There are three categories in for which the costs can be identified as under:-


Lost productivity of the absence employee, decreased overall productivity of those employee.


Any temporary help costs incurred, possible loss of business or dissatisfied of customers.


Overtime for other employees to fill in, problems with employee morale of Absenteeism in the Organisation

There are various factors that influence an employee to remain absent from work. They are as follows:

Personal Factors:-Personal Attitude:

The attitude one carries to work says a lot about the person. Employees with strong workplace ethics will respect work and appreciate the contribution they make to their companies. Such employee will not engage themselves in taking unschdualed off. On the other hand, employees with very low or no work ethics are undisciplined and have lot of integrity and behavioural issues. Since they feel no obligation towards the company, absenteeism comes easily to them.


The younger employees are often restless. They want to spend time with their friends and have fun, rather than being tied down with work responsibility. The lack of ownership often leads them to take unauthorized time off. With age, people gain experience and maturity, which makes them focuses and responsible. Their approach is rather professional and they prefer to stick to their chairs to get the work done. If ever they are found absent, then it could be due to sickness.


Employees, who have been with the company for a long time are well-adjusted with the working culture and the job, therefore, they find no reason to be absent without permission. On the other hand, new hires are more prone to taking ad hoc breaks to unwind themselves.


Women generally do a balancing act by stuffing their time between home and work. Family, being their foremost priority, they don't think twice before taking a step towards absenteeism.

Organisational Factors:-Stress:

The pressure at work sometimes takes a toll on the employees. This result in increased the level of stress. The employees then resort to excuses that can help them stay away from work.

Work Routine:

Doing the same job over a period of pressure at work sometimes takes a toll on the employees. This result in increased the level of stress. The employees then resort to excuses that can help them stay away from work.

Job satisfaction:

If employees do not find their challenging, dissatisfaction creeps in. That leads to more absenteeism in the organisation.

Lack of Motivation:

Lack of motivation from the employers is a big cause of absenteeism. Employees are not giving much attention to their jobs because of less motivated jobs.

Why managers need to understand Organisational Behaviour and its theories?

Organisational behaviour is the study of the behaviour and attitudes of people in organisations. Its focus is on human work behaviour and attitudes which contribute to the effectiveness and productivity of the organisation. Newer definitions of management stress the importance of the manager as an enabler of employee performance instead of the activities approach.

A significant relationship exists between management and organisational behaviour. Organisational behaviour is an applied discipline which attempts to explain behaviour in organisations in term of valid theories. The field of organisation behaviour contributes knowledge in critical area important to any manager. Organisational behaviour is concerned with describing and explaining the organisational phenomena while management is a professional discipline which stresses the importance of applied problem-solving skills that sustain the firm's competitive advantage.


Carrot and stick refers to a policy of a combination offering rewards and punishment to induce behaviour. The positive carrot team will never get punish and always will win the rewards for doing well in an environment of gentle encouragement and leadership. The stick team will get an extreme training and they cannot be rewarded and will be punished for the failure. A very widely know motivational concept is the carrot and stick approach. However when put into practice this approach is found to be more difficult than it seems to change behaviour, there are two ways to change behaviour using the carrot and stick approach.

The stick or the fear is a good motivator and if it is used at the right time can be very helpful. The stick or fear can be stressful for employees. Fears are only use full for short term basis. On the other hand employees are becoming more productive because of the incentive they are offered i.e. the carrot approach. The benefits of this approach are that it works very well if the incentive is good enough.


Motivated employees overcome obstacles to make it to work. The key to reducing employee absenteeism is to create a culture where employee's wants come to work.

Many employers do not pay attention absenteeism, both the measurement and affects of absenteeism and its control. Almost all employers understand that high absenteeism rates have negative effect on their business but the monetary effect of abnormally high absenteeism is usually not qualified. It is necessary for mangers to consider the importance of motivation because it stimulates employee behaviour to achieve organisational goals. Human behaviour rests on needs and motives. A need us an experienced state of deficiency that pushes one's behaviour Examples of needs are hunger, thirst and belongingness. The motives are achievement, power, greed, altruism pulls human behaviour towards a goal that is predicted or anticipated. For understanding of this a good example is if pay rise to pay for summer holidays can change the behaviour of the employees in the sense of increased work output, no absenteeism, no lateness and higher work quality. Motivation theories are two types - content theories and process theories.


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