Causes of Absenteeism

Absenteeism creates problems of widely varying degrees for organizations.

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The failure to show up at work creates problems of widely varying degrees for organizations. The Monday morning absence of an HR administrative assistant may not present significant hardships because the employees work can often be put off until he or she returns to work. But when 10 to 15 per cent of the midnight-to-seven shift of a large manufacturer stays away from work on a Friday night, havoc may result. Excessive employee absenteeism can significantly drain productivity and profits, creating innumerable problems for supervisors and employees who work regularly.

Absenteeism is not unique to any industry or geographic area. It is a major problem for every organization, particularly since downsizing and other "lean and mean" changes have left employers with a smaller workforce. Decisionmakers should periodically computer the cost of absenteeism on profits, a historical study will indicate whether the related costs are increasing or decreasing.

Causes of Absenteeism

Although absenteeism is one of today's most complex employee problems, it is possible to isolate the variables that influence employee decisions to attend work. Considerable research has shown that the following factors contribute to absenteeism in the workplace:

  • Personal factors - These include the employee's age, gender, length of service, marital status, education, health, income level etc.
  • Organizational factors - The size of the organization, size of work group, nature of supervision, shift work, overtime, incentive schemes, and type of work.
  • Attitudinal factors - These include job satisfaction and the state of the economy (when unemployment is high, absenteeism is lower).
  • Social factors - Difficult living circumstances, inadequate transport systems, and residential violence.

A quality workforce management system, like WorkSight Flow, can help you keep track of absenteeism. From a scaling pricing plan to additional support features being available, WorkSight Flow wants to see you and your business succeed.