Employment and Absenteeism Data
Unique Schweppes Ltd was multinational Public Limited Company with its head office in London. The company’s 51% shares were held by Unique and 49% by Government financial institution and shareholders. They had 6 primary manufacturing units located at Jammu, Nagpur, Agra, Pune, Gorakhpur and Hyderabad. The total manpower resource in these six units was 1900. Agra unit was registered in the name of Association Of Chemical Workers in the company. The unit was working in 3 shifts and for all seven days. Emphasis on financial relations among the employee to promote simplified working and better understanding.
Unique gave all the welfare facilities to their employees like free canteen, free transportation, free uniform, medical re-imbursement, housing loan and all other benefits. In 1995,HR executive, received a complaint that production was suffering due to absenteeism in spite of that there were 52 weekly off,9casual and 22 earned leaves but still absenteeism rate was 18%. ` The management decided decided to put efforts to reduce absenteeism by providing financial incentives to the employees to motivate them to work regularly. Similarly some workers who had not shown any improvement in their attendance then charge sheet would be issued.
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Ultimately management found some reasons which led to absenteeism were high salary, festive celebration, dual employment etc and all these led to another way of encouraging employees to reduce absenteeism by social recognition, tea party attendance awards. But by 1999, Unique had introduced all monetary as well as social benefits schemes yet employees has been issued charge sheet and has not shown any improvement. So the management finally decided to terminate them, and this action has showed a remarkable decline in the rate of absenteeism. Absenteeism
A Framework for Absenteeism There are six areas where systems, policies and practices will have an impact on Absenteeism rates. They are: 1. Recruitment and selection 2. Relationships with managers 3. Position profiles 4. Workplace environment 5. Work-life balance 6. Company culture Recruitment and Selection Inadequate selection and screening processes can contribute to an absenteeism problem. This is simply because some people are more prone to the various circumstances, attitudes and conditions which lead some people to take excessive unscheduled leave.
Establishing proactive screening and assessment processes combined with testing and hiring will help you employ the right people for the right roles from the outset. You should implement screening processes which seek to assess dependability, reliability and likelihood of tardiness. Relationships with Managers Absenteeism is often connected to poor relationships with managers. Studies have found authoritarian management styles linked to higher rates of stress induced absenteeism. Authoritarian managers frequently display poor listening and communication skills, are inflexible and set unreachable goals.
Good managers make people want to come to work in the morning. They do this by fostering healthy relationships with their staff. They are fair and meritocratic in particular when granting leave, promotions and pay rises. To identify managers whose management styles may be contributing to an Absenteeism problem consider these two steps: firstly analyse your patterns of Absenteeism data to see if it is localised by manager and conduct 360 degree staff reviews and anonymous staff satisfaction surveys. If you identify absenteeism patters in connection with individual managers onsider corrective action as necessary. In addition consider general training to educate your line managers on facilitative rather than authoritative management styles. Position Profiles Positions involving excessive workloads, boring or repetitive work or an unusual level of stress will lead to high levels of job dissatisfaction which will aggravate your absenteeism levels. When developing or revising job positions consider stress, repetitiveness and workload. Implement job rotation and job sharing to breakup boring or stressful work.
Look for patterns of absenteeism by position and job title. Conduct regular job satisfaction surveys to uncover issues that can lead to absenteeism and turnover. Monitor workloads and proactively manage stress levels in the workplace. Consider implementing a job enrichment program and take other proactive steps as necessary to identify and address problems related to specific roles before they become endemic. Workplace Environment Absenteeism is often linked to the work environment. Ask yourself whether your workplace is an attractive, healthy and inviting place to be.
Or are the toilets and office dirty, the lighting poor and the desks and chairs uncomfortable? Are your employees safe from physical harm in the workplace? What about the atmosphere among co-workers? Are they exposed to confrontation, bullying or harassment? Examine your Absenteeism patterns to see if it is localized by department or site. This may indicate an issue with a particular location. Take steps to create a workplace environment that people want to be in. Educate your managers on ergonomics and safe work practices. Discourage rumours, gossip and office politics.
Adopt a no jerks policy and zero tolerance for harassment and bullying. Work-life Balance Changing demographics, generational expectations and new technology is bluring the line between work and personal life and forcing a policy rethink. With more single parents and couples where both partners work there is increasing competition between work and personal time. Technology has enabled many employees to work from anywhere meaning staff are often working in their personal time. Staffs who works during personal time may feel they are entitled to occasionally use work time to meet personal obligations.
Companies who take a rigid 9-5 view of this may force employees to take sick days when they only need a few hours to take a parent to a medical appointment or a child to a special event. Generational and demographic changes mean the lifestyles, priorities and expectations of workforces are changing. Millennial prefer to multi task and use technology to blur work and personal life. Employers need to bear this in mind when developing policies and avoid rigid and inflexible approaches. Consider implementing work life programs to help employees balance work and personal life.
Consider implementing a policy of paid time off. Giving employees the flexibility to balance their work and home life will usually increase loyalty and cause people to put in extra effort whereas disgruntled employees will do the bare minimum. According to the CCH research the work life programs rated most effective for reducing absenteeism were: Alternative Work Arrangements, Telecommuting, Compressed Work Week, Leave for School Functions and Flu Shot Programs. Company Culture The most extreme way culture can impact absenteeism is when a company has a culture of absence.
A culture of absence (most commonly found in the public service) feeds upon itself, is detrimental to morale and breeds a culture of “why not me? ” How do your employees perceive your company? Interested and caring or indifferent to their needs? Company culture can exacerbate absenteeism in a variety of ways. Ask yourself whether there’s a sense of shared purpose? Do employees feel they are part the team or are they marginalized? Does your company make people feel appreciated? Take steps to promote a culture of trust, respect and appreciation.
Showing appreciation for staff will improve your absenteeism, your retention and your staff productivity. Improving your company culture will reduce your absenteeism rate and a lower rate will in turn promote a healthier company culture. A Barometer of Morale Absenteeism is a complex issue but if we had to simplify it down to a single point we’d say that absenteeism is a major barometer of morale. Many of the causes within the Absenteeism framework above are linked to morale. Low morale in all its forms is often a root cause of unnecessary absenteeism. 1.
In your opinion which alternative steps would be more effective for reducing absenteeism? Eight steps to slash absenteeism rate: 1. Implement systems to collect absenteeism data and analyse for trends and patterns. 2. Conduct staff surveys and 360 degree reviews and analyse the results. 3. Screening and test during the hiring stage to assess dependability, reliability and likelihood of tardiness. 4. Educate your line managers on facilitative rather than authoritative management styles. 5. For position specific absenteeism consider position redesign, job enrichment, job rotation and job sharing. . Create a healthy and safe workplace environment that people want to come to. 7. Implement flexible work-life programs to reduce stress and allow people to juggle their responsibilities. 8. Foster a company culture that is inclusive, respectful and appreciative 2. What is the role of non-financial incentives over financial incentives ? Most businesses recognize the need for non-financial methods of motivation. The main ones are described briefly below: Job enlargement Job enlargement involves adding extra, similar, tasks to a job.
In job enlargement, the job itself remains essentially unchanged. However, by widening the range of tasks that need to be performed, hopefully the employee will experience less repetition and monotony. With job enlargement, the employee rarely needs to acquire new skills to carry out the additional task. A possible negative effect is that job enlargement can be viewed by employees as a requirement to carry out more work for the same pay! Job rotation Job rotation involves the movement of employees through a range of jobs in order to increase interest and motivation.
For example, an administrative employee might spend part of the week looking after the reception area of a business, dealing with customers and enquiries. Sometime might then be spent manning the company telephone switchboard and then inputting data onto a database. Job rotation may offer the advantage of making it easier to cover for absent colleagues, but it may also reduce’ productivity as workers are initially unfamiliar with a new task. Job rotation also often involves the need for extra training. Job enrichment
Job enrichment attempts to give employees greater responsibility by increasing the range and complexity of tasks they are asked to do and giving them the necessary authority. It motivates by giving employees the opportunity to use their abilities to the fullest. Successful job enrichment almost always requires further investment in employee training. Team working and empowerment Empowerment involves giving people greater control over their working lives. Organizing the labor force into teams with a high degree of autonomy can achieve this. This means that employees plan their own work, take their own decisions and solve their own problems.
Teams are set targets to achieve and may receive rewards for doing so. Empowered teams are an increasingly popular method of organizing employees at work. 3. How do you evaluate the impact of termination on the absenteeism? Termination means firing the employee from his current position in the organization, and making the seats vacant for the fresh talent. Termination/Dismissals should only be considered when all of the conditions and procedures have been met. The employee, upon displaying no satisfactory improvement, would be dismissed on the grounds of his/her unwillingness to correct his/her absence record
An employee is responsible for notifying his supervisor of his absence each day of the absence and advising when he will report back to work. Unexcused absences and excessive excused absences are cause for progressive corrective action and may result in termination. The Company also reserves the right to terminate any employee who is absent for two (2) consecutive working days without notification. Where an individual does not adhere to the policy, absenteeism is usually addressed through progressively stricter disciplinary measures that can result in the termination of the individual’s employment.
Obviously, this is a huge cost for industry, yet as huge as it is, the impact of absenteeism is often underestimated. It involves a great deal more than the direct financial costs associated with the absent worker. Beyond costs like replacement labour, overtime and decrease in productivity, absenteeism creates a flow-on effect to other workers, including increased workload and stress among staff forced to compensate for an absent colleague. These effects may increase the risk of workplace accidents and reduce output or quality.
Additionally, there is a time and financial cost for extra supervision and training of temporary staff. Organisations suffering from high levels of absenteeism often have associated staff morale problems and higher levels of industrial disputation and worker’s compensation. Promote a high performance work culture and emphasise the importance of the employee fitting into this culture * Provide flexible work practices which meet the needs of the business and the employees * Introduce a reward system for any improvement to sick leave rates * Try to eliminate or decrease “boring” or repetitive jobs * Widen job responsibilities Increase promotional opportunities * Recognise and reward employee contributions * Improve the skills of supervisors. If even after taking the above steps by the management the absenteeism rate doesn’t show any change, then management have to use the policy of termination because of defective employees organisation have to incur a huge loss so it’s good to terminate such employees Conclusion .
This case study tells us that termination is necessary in some cases as it also makes an example of those influencing others, making them think absenteeism is does not really have any effect on the organization and demotivating them. Any good management team should not hesitate to take strict action against those who hamper the growth of the organization besides taking measures to influence them positively by providing counseling and other financial and non-financial incentives. If these measures are not adopted the organization is going to suffer which would not make the managing team a very good one.