Absenteeism is a serious workplace problem and an expensive occurrence for both employers and employees seemingly unpredictable in nature. A satisfactory level of attendance by employees at work is necessary to allow the achievement of objectives and targets by a department. Employee Absenteeism is the absence of an employee from work.
It is a major problem faced by almost all employers of today. Employees are absent from work and thus the work suffers.
Employee’s presence at workplace during the scheduled time is highly essential for the smooth running of the production process in particular and the organization in general. Despite the significance of their presence, employees sometime fail to report at the work place during the scheduled time, which is known as “Absenteeism”. Labour Bureau, Simla defined the term ‘absenteeism’ as “the failure of a worker to report for work when he is scheduled to work. ” Labour Bureau also states that “absenteeism is the total man-shifts lost because of absence as a percentage of the total number of man-shifts scheduled to work. According to Webster’s Dictionary, “Absenteeism is the practice or habit of being an ‘absence’ and an absentee is one who habitually stays away. ” Types of Absenteeism: Absenteeism is of four types viz: 1) Authorized Absenteeism, 2) Unauthorized Absenteeism, 3) Willful Absenteeism and 4) caused by circumstances beyond one’s control. 1) Authorized Absenteeism: If an employee absent himself from work by taking permission from his superior and applying for leave, such absenteeism is called authorized absenteeism. ) Unauthorized Absenteeism: if an employee absent himself from work without informing or taking permission and without applying for leave, such absenteeism is called unauthorized absenteeism. 3) Willful Absenteeism: If an employee absents himself from duty willfully, such absenteeism is called willful absenteeism. 4) Absenteeism caused by Circumstances beyond One’s Control: If an employee absents himself from duty owing to the circumstances beyond his control like involvement in accidents or sudden sickness, such absenteeism is called absenteeism caused by circumstances beyond one’s control.
Features of Absenteeism: Research studies undertaken by different authors reveal the following features of absenteeism: * The rate of absenteeism is the lowest on pay day, it increases considerably on the days following the payment of wages and bonus. * Absenteeism is generally high among workers below 15 years of age and those above 40. The younger employees are not regular and punctual, presumably because of the employment of a large number of newcomers among the younger age groups. While the older people are not able to withstand the strenuous nature of the work. The rate of absenteeism varies from department to department within a unit. As the size of the group increases, the rate of absenteeism goes up. This difference in the rate of absenteeism is believed to be due to the peculiar style and practices of management, the composition of the labor force and the culture of the organization. * The percentage of absenteeism is generally higher in the day shifts * The percentage of absenteeism is much higher in coal and mining industries than in organized industries. * Absenteeism in India is seasonal in character It is the highest during March-April-May, when a land has to be prepared for monsoon saving, and also in the harvest season, when the rate goes as high as 40 percent Causes Of Absenteeism: The following are the general causes of absenteeism 1) Maladjustment with the Working Conditions: If the working conditions of the company are poor, the workers cannot adjust themselves with the company’s working conditions. Then they prefer to stay away from the company. 2) Social and Religious Ceremonies: Social and religious functions divert the worker’s attention from the work. ) Unsatisfactory Housing conditions at the workplace. 4) Industrial Fatigue: The industrial fatigue compels workers to remain outside the work place. 5) Unhealthy Working Conditions: The poor and intolerable working condition in the factories irritates the workers. Excess heat, noise, either too much or too low lightening, poor ventilation, dust, smoke etc. cause poor health of the workers. These factors cause the workers to be absent. 6) Poor Welfare Facilities: Though a number of legislation concerning welfare facilities are enacted, many organization fail to provide welfare facilities.
This is either due to the poor financial position of the companies or due to the exploitative attitude of the employer. The poor welfare facilities include poor sanitation, washing, bathing, first-aid appliances, ambulance, rest rooms, drinking water, canteen, shelter, creches etc. the dissatisfied workers with these facilities prefer to be away from the work place. 7) Alcoholism: Workers mostly prefer to spend money on the consumption of liquor and enjoyment after getting the wages. Therefore the rate of absenteeism is more during the first week of every month. ) Indebtness: The low level wages and unplanned expenditure of the workers force them to borrow heavily. The research studies indicate that workers borrow more than 10 times of their net pay. Consequently, workers fail to repay the money. Then they try to escape from the place in order to avoid the moneylenders. This leads to absenteeism. 9) Maladjustments with the job demands: The fast changing technology demands higher level skills from the workers. Some workers fail to meet these demands due to their low level education and/or absence of training. 0) Unsound Personnel Policies: The improper and unrealistic personnel policies result in employee dissatisfaction. The dissatisfied employee in turn prefers to be away from the work. 11) Inadequate Leave Facilities: The inadequate leave facilities provided by the employer forces him to depend on E. S. I. leave which allows the workers to be away from the work for 56 days in a year on half pay. 12) Low level of Wages: Wages in some organizations are very poor and they are quite inadequate to meet the basic needs of the employees.
Therefore, employees go for other employment during their busy season and earn more money. Further, some employees take up part time jobs. Thus the employees resort to moonlighting and absent themselves from work. The Cost to Co. Turnover As most HR managers know, the cost of turnover adds hundreds of thousands of dollars to a company’s expenses. While it is difficult to fully calculate the cost of turnover (including hiring costs, training costs, productivity loss), industry experts often quote 25% of the average employee salary as a conservative estimate.
For example, if the average salary is $20,000/yr the cost of one employee turnover is $5,000. If you have 30 employees terminating per month, the cost to the organization equals $150,000/month. Mulitiply that by 12 months and you have $1,800,000 in added annual expense. Loss of Company Knowledge When an employee leaves, they take with them valuable knowledge about your company, your customers, current projects and past history (sometimes to competitors). Often much time and money has been spent on the employee in expectation of a future return. When the employee leaves, the investment is not realized.
Disruption of Customer Service Customers and clients do business with a company in part because of the people. Relationships are developed that encourage continued patronage of the business. When an employee leaves, the relationships that employee built for the company are severed, which could lead to potential customer loss. Turnover spirals into more turnover When an employee terminates, the effect is felt throughout the organization. Coworkers are often required to pick up the slack. The unspoken negativity often intensifies for the remaining staff.