ABSENTEEISM: ISSUES AND CHALLENGES Meaning of Absenteeism: Absenteeism is in fact, merely the Symptoms of a “Disease” & not, disease by themselves. Absenteeism has been defined under the factories act as: “the failure of worker to report for work when they are scheduled to work.” Employees who are away from work on recognized holidays, vacations, approved leaves of absence, or leaves of absence allowed for under the collective agreement provisions is not included. Absenteeism has been defined differently by various eminent authors… “Absenteeism is the total man shifts lost because of absence as a percentage of the total number of man shifts scheduled to work.” - LABOR BUREAU “Absenteeism is the failure of a worker to report for work when he is scheduled to work.” - LABOR BUREAU (Govt. of India), Simla Absenteeism could be further explained as- “…unauthorized, unexplained, avoidable and willful absence from work” “….the temporary cessation of work, for not less than one whole working day, on the initiative of the worker, when his presence is expected” Thus, Absenteeism is the temporary cessation of work, for not less than one whole working day, on the initiative of the worker, when his presence is expected. At last, it can be said that an employee is to be considered as scheduled to work when the employer has work available for him and the employee is aware of it and the employer has no reason to expect well in advance that the employee will not be available for work at the specified time/day. MEASURING CRITERIA Measurement of Absenteeism is very important because it facilitates analysis, forecast the trends, find out reasons & suggest remedial measures. Absenteeism can be measured using following Formulae- - By K.K. Vaid: [Persons not working due to unauthorized leave + unauthorized Absence rate= absence] * 100 Man shifts actually worked - By Baldev R. Sharma: Numder of days actually worked * 100 Absence ratio= Man shifts actually worked - By Us Employment Services: Number of employees days lost through absence * 100 Absenteeism rate= Average number of employees * Number of working days ADVERSE EFFECT OF ABSENTEEISM Adverse effects of absenteeism are too many on both the Industry & the Workers ON INDUSTRY Absenteeism in industry Stops machine, Disrupts processes, Creates production, Upsets production targets, Production losses, Increased direct overhead costs, Increased workload of inexperienced or substandard worker as substitutes, Problem of recruitment, training, job- adjustment, morale, attitude, Idle machine hours, Rise in production cost, Delay in supply, Deprives reputation of the company. ON WORKERS Ill-effects of absenteeism on those who cause it are equally baneful. Effect of absenteeism on workers- Adverse effect on economy of the worker himself; Reduced earning; Adds to indebtedness; Decreased purchasing power; Problem of attitude & low morale; Loss of employment (in some cases); CAUSES OF ABSENTEEISM What are the reasons for high rates of Absenteeism and the increasing man days lost? If the worker is committed to his job, why does he stay away? Why is the labor force like a nuclear dump waiting for a match to set it aflame? Bhatia & Valecha in their study on Absenteeism in a large manufacturing plant conclude that chronic absentees have greater indebtedness and are found more among those in The higher age bracket having longer length of service, and in the unskilled and semi- skilled work force. Problem of Absenteeism may be accounted to three factors- ORGANIZATIONAL FACTORS; ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS; PERSONAL FACTORS; 1) ORGANIZATIONAL FACTORS: Organizational climate or culture plays a vital role in the behavioral pattern of the workers. Some of the aspects on industrial absence are… Nature of the industry related somehow with absenteeism. It is found that absenteeism rate is maximum in textile industries and minimum in oil industries. Leniency on the part of management also results in higher rates of absenteeism. Organization resorting to ‘BADLI’ system of employment by appointing temporary/causal workers is also a reason for higher rate of absenteeism. Militancy of trade unions in certain industries account for higher rate of absenteeism. 2) ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS: The rate of absenteeism in Indian industry is estimated as 16.73% in one research study. Out of this nearly 50% (viz. 7.85%) is accounted against environmental factors consist of- Socio-Economic Factors; Religion-Cultural Factors. SOCIO-ECONOMIC FACTORS:- Poverty- nearly 30% of Indian population lives below ‘Poverty Line’. Unhygienic Living Conditions- workers live in sub-standard conditions. Number of Dependents- each worker has to look after or support a large number of dependents. Sickness- above conditions cause frequent sickness either to the workers or his dependents where his personal attention is needed & it results in absenteeism. Maternity- it has been found in a research study that 25% (a major portion) of absence accounted against maternity & sickness. RELIGION-CULTURAL FACTORS: Indian population consists of multi-linguistic, multi-religious groups each following their own traditions, festivals & customs. Large number of public holidays & religious holidays. India is basically an agrarian society. Industrial labor follows the harvest festivals religiously. Due to these reasons, the rate of absence is not the same throughout the year. It is high during April-May & again in October-November. 3) PERSONAL FACTORS: Personal factors are another set of reasons accounting for industrial absence. These may be sub-divided into- Biographical Aspects; Psychological Aspects; BIOGRAPHICAL ASPECTS: Age- absenteeism is found high in young workers (<25 yrs) and old workers (>50 yrs). Sex- female workers have shown more absenteeism than their male counterpart. Skill- absenteeism is found more among unskilled & semi-skilled workers compared to skilled workers, supervisors or better-educated workers. Educational level Marital status PHYCHOLOGICAL ASPECTS: These aspects include mental illness leading to symptoms like Alcoholism, drug addiction and accidents. Chronicle absenteeism Indebtedness- the low level wages & unplanned expenditure of the Workers force them to borrow heavily. Then they try to escape from the place in order to avoid the moneylenders. This leads to absenteeism. Accident proneness So, the causes of absenteeism are many and include: serious accidents and illness low morale poor working conditions boredom on the job lack of job satisfaction inadequate leadership and poor supervision Personal problems (financial, marital, substance abuse, child care etc.) poor physical fitness inadequate nutrition transportation problems the existence of income protection plans (collective agreement Provisions which continue income during periods of illness or accident.) stress workload employee discontent with a collective bargaining process and/or its results THE COST OF ABSENTEEISM The cost of absenteeism is greater than the direct payment of wages and benefits paid durance the absence. Organizations must also consider the indirect cost of staffing, scheduling, re-training, lost productivity, diminished moral, turnover, opportunity cost. The indirect costs often exceed the direct cost of absenteeism. Employers pay a high price for absenteeism, often more than they realize, in terms of both financial and production losses and employee morale. Managers may view the tasks of finding a substitute employee as a short-term inconvenience; however, absenteeism frequently has more serious long-term effects. Decrease in Productivity employees may be carrying an extra workload or supporting new or replacement staff employees may be required to train and orientate new or replacement workers staff morale and employee service may suffer Financial Costs payment of overtime may result cost of self-insured income protection plans must be borne plus the wage costs of replacement employees premium costs may rise for insured plans Administrative Costs staff time is required to secure replacement employees or to re-assign the remaining employees staff time is required to maintain and control absenteeism TRENDS IN ABSENTEEISM Recent surveys indicate the following trends in absenteeism. The higher the rate of pay and the greater the length of service of the employee, the fewer the absences As an organization grows, there is a tendency towards higher rates of absenteeism Women are absent more frequently than men Single employees are absent more frequently than married employees Younger employees are absent more frequently than older employees but the latter are absent for longer periods of time Unionized organizations have higher absenteeism rates than non-union organizations The incidence of absenteeism is usually higher in the night shift than in the day shifts. Managing absenteeism and turnover. Most organizations approach to absenteeism (point systems, no-fault systems, reward systems) result in spotty, temporary improvements at best and are harmful at worst. Many of these policies teach some employees how to play the system so they are always just on this side of termination. Others, who were otherwise excellent employees, have been terminated because policy dictated it. Productivity continues to suffer because there aren't enough people to cover the work assignments. There's no argument that high rates of absenteeism and turnover are the biggest problems that American business faces today, worsened by lower unemployment rates. To make things even more complicated, most companies greatly underestimate the cost of both their absenteeism and turnover. Not only are the direct costs monumental but the indirect and hidden costs can be the difference between profit and loss or being able to maintain the operating budget. The solution to this problem is simple but revolutionary. It requires a dramatic paradigm shift. Effective absenteeism results in a cultural change by requiring companies to reject old paradigms and explore a new philosophy that says the way employees are managed may be a more significant factor in controlling absenteeism and turnover rates than any policy that rewards or punishes it. Crystal Clear Concepts' Absenteeism Management Program results in a culture change by requiring companies to reject old paradigms and explore a new paradigm that will solve the problem of absenteeism. Work Is an Element of Self-Esteem The very core of the new absenteeism philosophy is the concept that working is a crucial element of self-esteem. Most employees don't miss work because they are lazy and don't want to come to work. They find satisfaction in working. In reality, most absenteeism is a symptom of other problem(s). Contrary to most policies, which concentrate on just absenteeism, it, with tougher penalties for poor attendance or rewards for good attendance, this philosophy treats absenteeism as an indicator of underlying problems that create absenteeism. These problems must be solved to improve attendance which automatically improves quality, productivity and profit. Program Benefits It is extraordinarily difficult for managers to comprehend that their management style, working conditions, employees' relationships with one another or personal problems could impact negatively or positively on attendance. Yet, without a doubt, such factors play a major part in the causes of absenteeism. Our figures show that up to 75% of all absenteeism is relationship-based. Most managers are startled with the discoveries that come out of our program. They are surprised, embarrassed and stunned at their discoveries of the real causes of absenteeism and how easy absenteeism and turnover is to solve. Absenteeism is a universal problem in Industry and is not peculiar to Indian industry. But the rate of Absenteeism has been relatively higher in India. What are the reasons for high rates of Absenteeism and the increasing man days lost? If the worker is committed to his job, why does he stay away? Why is the labor force like a nuclear dump waiting for a match to set it aflame? Absenteeism has always been a major problem in the Indian industry. An official of Bharat Cooking Coal Ltd’s planning department points out that often as much as 40% of the labor force stays away from work. Myers is of view that Absenteeism is encouraged owing to the lenient policies of the management. Sickness & Social reasons are the usual excuses given for being absent. BADLI system also contributes to the high rate of Absenteeism. Bhatia & Valecha in their study on Absenteeism in a large manufacturing plant conclude that chronic absentees have greater indebtedness and are found more among those in the higher age bracket having longer length of service, and in the unskilled and semi-skilled work force. Research studies conducted by Shri Ram Centre for Industrial Relation, Employers Federation of India and the National Council reveal the following peculiarities of Absenteeism in India: 1) The rate of Absenteeism in India is more than 10% 2) A small percentage of employee (15%) account for a large percentage (70%) of the total Absenteeism. These chronic absentees have negative perceptions and attitude. For e.g. - the company is neither fair nor just; supervisors are production centered; workgroup is unhelpful and grievance handling, suggestions schemes & joint committees are more formalities. 3) There has been a seasonal bias in the causes making for Absenteeism. For e.g. - absenteeism due to sickness are high in July, September and lowest in April and June. a. Absenteeism has been greater in night shift then in days shift. b. Absenteeism is higher in departments where supervisors are work oriented and careless for employee welfare. c. The rate of Absenteeism is likely to be higher in days before and after a holiday. d. Women tends to be absent more then men. e. Workers tend to be absent more frequently then supervisors and managers. f. Absenteeism is generally higher in large organization then in small organizations g. Absenteeism is lowest on pay day and highest after payday. h. There is tremendous scope for reducing Absenteeism through union leadership within an organization. Managing Absenteeism: Some Techniques Over he past few decade it is seen ha “Workers' responsibilities are multiplying at home and at work. Studies have consistently found that implementing workplace policies that help workers balance work and family responsibilities improve employee morale, reduces turnover, and increases productivity.” Absenteeism is a major barometer of employee morale, absenteeism above 5% per week is very serious (3% is the standard goal of industry). Left unchecked, high absenteeism usually develops into very serious business problems including morale issues and high turnover. To reduce absenteeism, first check the percentage of employee absenteeism by supervisor. Next you need to look at absenteeism a little more closely, in terms of the principal reason given for it. Sometimes employees call in sick when they really do not want to go to work. The answer to eliminate those types of absentees is to develop an effective program that strikes at the core of the issues. Empirical studies on work performance were carried out by various researchers. The work performance of 286 individuals with a diagnosis of major depression and/or dysthymia, 193 healthy control subjects, and 93 individuals with a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis were compared. Individuals were recruited through primary-care physicians and evaluated for symptoms of depression. If such symptoms were detected, the physicians were notified. Forty-four percent of the depressive cohort were already on antidepressant medications at baseline, but still met criteria for suffering from a clinical depression as measured by the Patient Health Questionnaire-9. Job performance was measured via the Work Limitations Questionnaire, which looked at work output and job-performance deficits. Subjects were followed up every 6 months for 18 months. At baseline and at each follow- up period, the depression group had significantly more deficits in managing: Interpersonal interactions; Time; and Output tasks. As patients' depressive symptoms improved, their work performance improved -- but not to the level of the control groups. Managing physical job demands was significantly more difficult for patients in the rheumatoid arthritis cohort. More and more, functional improvement, as opposed to just symptom improvement, is emphasized in the management of psychiatric disorders. This study highlights how the ability of depressed patients to hold onto jobs and perform well in their employment is affected. Other studies have evaluated functional improvement, such as job performance, as a secondary measure. This study measured job performance as the primary outcome. The results reveal the importance of not only inquiring about patients' depressive symptoms but also about their work performance, including: Interpersonal interactions with employers and coworkers; Work output; and Ability to manage time A crucial feature of the study design was the comparison to both a "well" control group and a physically challenged cohort with rheumatoid arthritis. Beyond absenteeism, it can be difficult to ascertain exactly how depressive symptoms impact a patient's work. This study helps clarify this association and, therefore, is an important contribution. On a separate yet disturbing note, 44% of the depressive cohort entered the study on pharmacologic treatment but with at least residual depressive symptoms, indicating suboptimal treatment of their condition. On he basis o he study some o he suggestion were incorporated o manage he absenteeism at work. His includes: 1. Find the causes of worker discontent and eliminate them. If workers find their supervisor or job unpleasant - really unpleasant - the worker looks for legitimate excuses to stay home and finds them with upset stomachs, splitting headaches, aching wrists, etc. Any effective absentee control program has to locate the causes of worker discontent and modify them or eliminate them entirely. In other words, if we deal with the real reasons workers stay home it becomes unnecessary for them to look for those sickness excuses they actually use. 2. Change the worker’s way of reacting and responding to discontent. Well, what are the real causes for worker discontent? Management must try to change the worker’s ways of reacting & responding to discontent as there is some fascinating correlations between types of worker discontent and rates of absenteeism. Is the employee who thinks they are underpaid more likely to miss a day here and there than the employee who can’t stand their supervisor? Or is it the other way around? So, to bring the problem to the lowest, it is required to have a two way communication, as both the needs of the employees & management must be met if good attendance is to be achieved… There can be more than meets the eye when it comes to absenteeism. Team members may stay away due to uncaring supervisors or unsatisfactory working conditions. There are a number of ways to address the problem to improve morale and the efficiency of the workplace. An absence from the workplace refers to time a team member is not on the job during scheduled working hours, except for a granted leave of absence or holiday time. Normally, the rate of absenteeism is calculated by dividing the number of working days lost through absence in any given period by the total number of available working days in that same period, as follows: Absenteeism Rate = Number of lost working days due to absence /(Number of team members) x (Number of Workdays) x 100. For Example: a. Average number of employees in work force = 100 b. Number of available workdays during period = 20 c. Total number of available workdays (a x b) = 2,000 d. Total number lost days due to absences in the period= 93 e. Absenteeism percent:(d [divided by] c) x 100 = 4.65 percent Since absenteeism is a major barometer of employee morale, absenteeism above 5 percent has to be considered as very serious (across most industries 3 percent is considered standard). Left unchecked, high absenteeism can rapidly develop into serious business problems including morale issues and high turnover. Maybe even worse than absenteeism, it is obvious that people such as malingerers and those unwilling to play their part in the workplace can also have a decidedly negative impact. Such team members need individual attention from frontline supervisors and management. Indeed, as prevention is better than cure, where such a problem occurs, it is always important to review recruitment procedures to identify how such individuals came to be employed in the first place. For any business owner or manager, to cure excessive absenteeism, it is essential to find and then eliminate the causes of discontent among team members. If they find their supervisor or job unpleasant - really unpleasant - they look for legitimate excuses to stay home and find them with things such as upset stomachs or splitting headaches. Any effective absentee control program has to locate the causes of discontent and modify those causes or eliminate them entirely. In other words, if we deal with the real reasons team members stay home it can become unnecessary for them to stay away. Any investigation into absenteeism needs to look at the real reasons for it. Sometimes team members call in sick when they really do not want to go to work. They would not call you up and say, “I’m not coming in today because my supervisor abuses me.” Or, “I’m not coming in today because my chair is uncomfortable.” Or, “I’m not coming in today because the bathrooms are so filthy, it makes me sick to walk into them.” There are a few essential questions to consider at the outset if you want to make a measurable improvement to your absenteeism figures. Why is your present absenteeism policy ineffective? Where and when is excessive absenteeism occurring? In many cases, under- trained supervisors could be a contributing factor. What are the real causes for absences? It is commonly expected that low pay, poor benefits and high workloads will be the major causes. However, in numerous employee surveys absenteeism generally has been identified as a symptom of low job satisfaction, sub-standard working conditions and consistent negative and unfair treatment received by first-line supervisors. How much formal training have your supervisors received on absenteeism containment and reduction? If your answer is none or very little, maybe you have found the solution. As with every other element within your organization, you cannot ask a person to do a job he or she has never been trained to do. Many human resources specialists have found that repetitive, boring jobs coupled with uncaring supervisors and/or physically unpleasant workplaces are likely to lead workers to make up excuses for not coming to work. If your team members perceive that your company is indifferent to their needs, they are less likely to be motivated, or even to clock on at all. One way to determine the causes of absenteeism is to question your supervisors about excessive absenteeism, including what causes it and how to reduce it. Of course, if your supervisors have made no efforts to get to know the team members in their respective departments, they may not be able to provide reasons. However, just the act of questioning may get the ball rolling and signal to your supervisors that their involvement is important. Once a manager finds the real reasons for absenteeism there is another important step. Through open communication, you need to change the team member’s way of reacting and responding to discontent. Other problems will no doubt arise in the future. If the way of responding has not been reviewed, then the same cycle is likely to start all over again. So often absenteeism problems can be sheeted back to the supervisor level and to unsatisfactory working conditions. Without improvement in these areas, you can expect your high rate of absenteeism to continue The causes of absenteeism may include: serious accidents and illness low morale poor working conditions boredom on the job lack of job satisfaction inadequate leadership and poor supervision Personal problems (financial, marital, substance abuse, child care etc.) poor physical fitness transportation problems the existence of income protection plans (collective agreement ) Benefits which continue income during periods of illness or accident.) stress workload Employee discontent with the work environment most if not all of these causes can be prevented by taking a positive approach to things. By showing the employees that you care, you can help lower absenteeism in the work place. Dealing with Employee Absenteeism Dealing with employees absenteeism have become a challenging ask or he management as well as or the employers. This can be divided in two categories. one or supervisors and managers and other or he employees who frequently remains absent from heir job. For Supervisors/Managers: It is frequently asked by a manager that how he should deal with the fact that on any given day 10% of his employees are absent from work. On the basis of personal opinion and various related studies I can be concluded that the problem of employee absenteeism is a problem best resolved by taking the following four positive interventions versus taking a negative or punitive approach. Change Management Style: We are all aware of the fact that when employees call in ill, it does not mean they are truly too physically ill to work. One reason, outside of illness, that employees are absent is stress, and the number one reason employees are stressed has to do with their relationship with their manager/supervisor. Management styles that are too authoritarian tend to promote high levels of absenteeism among employees. Authoritarian managers are managers who have poor listening skills, set unreachable goals, have poor communication skills, and are inflexible. In other words, they yell too much, blame others for problems, and make others feel that it must be their way or the "highway." Authoritarian managers tend to produce high absenteeism rates. By identifying managers who use an authoritarian style, and providing them with management training, you will be taking a positive step not only toward reducing absenteeism, but also reducing turnover, job burnout, and employee health problems such as backaches and headaches. Change Working Conditions: The employees in your company probably work in a well-lighted climate controlled building. The working conditions I am referring to relate to coworker relationships. Not only does relationship stress occur between the employee and manager, but it also exists between employees. Frequently I hear employees say they did not go to work because they are fearful of or angry with another employee. These employees usually report they just could not deal with "so and so" today, so they called in ill. Companies that adopted policies and values that promote employee respect and professionalism, and promote an internal conflict resolution procedure, are companies that reduce employee stress. A reduction in employee stress reduces employee absenteeism. Provide Incentives: Giving employees incentives for reduced absenteeism is not the same as rewarding or giving employees bonuses for reduced absenteeism. An incentive provides an employee with a boost to their motivation to avoid unnecessary absenteeism. It simply helps the employee decide to go to work versus staying home and watching Jerry Springer. The types of incentive programs used by companies are numerous. 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. The type of incentive program that your company uses should be one created especially for your company. You can create an incentive program tailored to your unique company by allowing employees to help you develop the incentive program. For example, your employees may not care about receiving a $25.00 U.S. saving bond for perfect attendance, but they might respond very well to being able to leave one hour early on Friday if they have perfect attendance all week. The duration of the incentive program is also very important. Once again allow your employees to help guide you to determine the length of time between incentives. Some companies find that they can simply reward employees with perfect attendance once a year, while others decide once a month is best, and still others decide once a week works best. The general rule of thumb is to reward workers more frequently the younger they are and the more difficult the work is to perform. Also, it is best to start with small incentives and work up to larger ones if necessary. Develop an Attendance Policy: Every company should have an attendance policy. An attendance policy allows a manager to intervene with an employee who is frequently absent. Besides stress as a primary reason for employee absenteeism, other causes relate to alcoholism, domestic violence, and family problems. If you confront an employee about his or her frequent absenteeism, and they inform you it is due to personal problems, consider referring the employee to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). If the employee's absenteeism relates to a medical problem or a family member with a medical problem, you may have to consider allowing the employee to use the benefits allowed to them under the American's with Disability Act (ADA) or the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Early identification of these employees will get them back to work as fast as possible. Lastly, make sure that you have an attorney review your attendance policy to make sure it does not violate any State or Federal labor laws. By incorporating the above four strategies into your company you will not only reduce absenteeism you will reduce employee burnout, turnover, poor morale, and workplace negativism. For Employees Who Are Frequently Absent One of the most important steps you can take if you are frequently absent, is to keep your employer informed. Employees who are frequently absent without good cause are generally absent due to numerous frivolous reasons. Employees who are absent for good cause have legitimate reasons, e.g. sickness or family member illness, and the employee needs time off to resolve their personal problems. Most employers generally understand the need to be gone from work due to a legitimate reason; therefore, it is important to communicate clearly and accurately so your employer does not assume you are out for frivolous reasons. As an employee are allowed to take up to take various paid and unpaid leave which may be taken continuous or intermittently, thereby allowing the employee to work on a less than full-time schedule. Authorized leave can be used for the care of a child after birth, adoption, or foster care placement. "Traditional methods of absenteeism control based only on disciplinary procedures have proven to be ineffective."…Discipline by itself does not identify or address the root causes of absenteeism. Discipline programs might give the illusion of control. If absenteeism is to be controlled, the physical and emotional needs of employees needs to be addressed. According to a 1985 study on "Rates of Absence Among Nurses", it was determined that half of the absenteeism could be controlled through attending to the physical and emotional needs of employees. Low Morale Associated with Absenteeism "Workplaces with low morale report absentee rates of up to 35%, while offices with high morale enjoy absentee rates as low as 2%." Source: Randstand, Wichita Business Journal, November 15, 2004 Discipline Alone is not Effective Only two to three percent of employees abuse sick leave. “The key is getting employees to view sick time as insurance, to be used if needed, "according to Michael Markowich, M.D. The use of disciplinary measures alone is not an effective tool for lowering absenteeism rates. Rather than having the negative incentive of discipline to decrease absenteeism, a workplace that promotes trusting and respectful relationships among employees and puts flexibility and responsibility in the hands of the employees with their decision making brings about a sense of a partnership with management on the use of sick leave. Source: Business and Health, December 1991 Positive Approaches Some positive interventions to help resolve absenteeism problems as opposed to negative or punitive approaches: 1.) Change management style. Authoritarian managers are associated with high absenteeism rates. If managers do not practice in an authoritarian style of management, absenteeism may be reduced, as well as a reduction in turnover, job burnout, and employee health problems. 2.) Reducing employee stress reduces absenteeism. Stressful relationships between employees may be reduced by adopting policies and professionalism. Having an internal conflict resolution Process in place can also help in decreasing stress. 3.) Incentive programs can reduce absenteeism. Some examples of incentives include two hours of bonus pay for every month of perfect attendance, a buffet lunch, or a gift certificate. Source: Employer-Employee.com Root Causes in Working Conditions Workers who feel micro-managed or don't get along well with their supervisors tend to take more sick leave according to a study done by Hallis, a recruitment consultant. Workers who get along well with their supervisors use less sick time. Workers who have a high degree of autonomy and work in small teams tend to be happiest according to Professor Ian Hickie. Workers who are less stimulated and unchallenged tend to use more sick days. One company gives employees their birthday off as a paid holiday as a way of helping employees feel appreciated and sick leave rates went down. Source: "Back Off Boss: You're Making Me Feel Sick", Brigid Delaney, March 31, 2004 Scheduling Options Help On a typical day, between two to four percent of Americans fail to show up for work. A study done by insurance companies compared the effect of three kinds of flex time scheduling on absences. One group could adjust their schedules daily, one group every 2 weeks, and the third group only four times a year. The group with the best attendance was the group that could change their schedule only quarterly. This showed a correlation between choosing a schedule and sticking to it bringing about a higher commitment to good attendance. The use of comp time may be helpful for employees who need to take off of work for a doctor's appointment at the last minute or other personal situations. Incentive plans to reward people who use minimal sick leave annually can also help in reducing absenteeism. Source: Companies Combat Absenteeism, Creative Recruiting and Retention Strategies, Joan Lloyd and Associates, March 20, 1988 Benefits of Sick Leave Use In a report from the Institute for Women's Policy and Research, "No Time to be Sick: Why Everyone Suffers When Workers Don't Have Paid Sick Leave,” it reviewed the consequences of inadequate paid sick leave: -employees come to work when they are sick, spreading illness to co-workers, extending their own period of illness, and impairing their productivity on the job. -parents who stay at home when they are sick or to care for a sick child lose pay and risk being fired. -children take longer to recover from illnesses and medical emergencies if their parents can't spend time with them in their recuperation. -use of health care resources increases when workers are sick longer and when more workers and children contract illnesses. -employers lose valuable productivity-enhancing effects that would likely occur from offering more adequate paid sick time and paid family care leave. The costs and benefits of expanding sick leave, according to the article, include: -workers who stay at home when they are ill won't infect other employees or customers (patients), which will decrease absenteeism and increase co-workers' productivity -workers will recover more quickly if they stay at home when ill and will be more productive when they return to work. Fewer health care resources will be used if the employee population is healthier and has fewer sick days overall, which in turn might lower employer's health care Costs. Worker retention will improve through improved health, job satisfaction, and mutual loyalty. Employers who don't terminate employees for absenteeism due to illness will benefit from reduced turnover and the increased productivity of workers who have longer job tenure. Remedial Measures for Reducing Absenteeism The definition of absenteeism, its causes, its affects on productivity, and its costs in terms of finances and administrative effectiveness are quite clear. What is not as clear is how to take affirmative action to control absenteeism in such a way as not to create mistrust, costly administration and systems avoidance (game players). Traditional methods of absenteeism control based only on disciplinary procedures have proven to be ineffective. It is almost impossible to create a fair disciplinary procedure because even well run disciplinary systems, which treat similar actions in consistently similar ways, are usually seen as unfair. The reason for this is discipline alone usually does not identify or address the root causes of absenteeism. Every employee who takes time off in defiance of company regulations has reasons, right or wrong, which justify to themselves the legitimacy of their actions. Unless a management attendance program identifies and addresses the causes of employee absenteeism it will be ineffective and unfair. Traditional disciplinary programs alone can, at best, give the illusion of control. It is no secret that there are ways to beat even the best systems. The fear of discipline often only increases the desire to avoid management systems. If absenteeism is to be controlled, the physical and emotional needs of employees must be addressed. In a 1985 study on "Rates of Absence among Nurses" it was found that 50% of absenteeism could be controlled through attending to employees physical and emotional needs. It is required to develop a willingness on the part of all employees to attend work regularly and to assist them in motivating their coworkers to attend work regularly. This can be done through; 1. addressing the physical and emotional needs of employees 2. communicating the attendance goals of the organization so employees can understand and identify with them 3. dealing with cases of excessive absenteeism effectively and fairly so deterrence can occur It is required to create work environments in which the following can be actualized. 1. The greater the extent to which individuals identify their goals with the goals of the organization and care what happens to it, the greater their motivation to be regular in attendance. 2. The more people find their jobs meaningful to them, the greater their motivation to be regular in attendance. 3. As employee’s workload increases due to the absence of a co-worker, peer pressure is exerted on the absent co-worker to attend work on a regular basis. 4. The more people like working for the organization the higher their motivation to attend regularly. Recognition of good employee attendance helps improve attendance. 5. Employees will have a lower absence ratio if they feel free to discuss their on-the- job problems with their immediate supervisor. 6. Employees with a low absence ratio have attitudes of confidence and "team" spirit. 7. Low absence ratio employees are found to be more satisfied with their opportunity for promotion and upgrading. Remedial measures could be taken for each causes of absenteeism. These remedies can be classified as- 1) ORGANIZATIONAL REMEDIES: Each organization is unique. Hence, suggestions based on certain broad assumptions are- Carry out periodic collection of data on absenteeism & analyze them to find out the trend of absenteeism (trade wise, sex wise and age wise for further studies). Find out - Causes & correlation of absenteeism - Gap between employee’s expectation & reality - Level of job satisfaction of employees on the basis of attitude survey. Introduce suggestion scheme and obtain employees view points for reducing absenteeism. Improve supervision & communication. Introduce incentive scheme like “Attendance Bonus” Improve working conditions Improve welfare, safety & health schemes Impose penalty/punishment/fines for absence Improve organizational climate/culture. Increase Quality of Work life (QWL) of employees Introduce flexi-timing, if feasible. 2) ENVIRONMENTAL REMEDIES: Provide campus/quarters & housing facilities on hire or hire-purchase basis Improve hygiene of living quarters Provide reasonable health care/hospital facilities Provide services like subsidized canteens, transport & schools Organize religious/cultural festivals & facilities including temples etc. Propagate family welfare schemes & virtues of maintaining small family. Organize sports & other recreational and entertainment facilities 3) PERSONAL REMEDIES: Increase intrinsic motivation Identify “Chronic absentees” and attend them individually Carry out counseling of individuals (chronic absentees) Introduce participative management system by discussing problems regarding absenteeism & arriving at remedial steps in consultation with employees Introduce both positive steps (incentive bonus for better attendance) & negative steps (disciplinary actions like fine) Take preventive steps to avoid accidents & alcoholism Provide permanent counselors to carryout individual counseling So managers must take critical look at their policies, corporate culture as absence policies are often not used for the purposes they are intended. Before employers can determine the best way to combat absenteeism, they must identify the organizational and individual factors that contribute to the problem. Among the most common potential problem areas employers need to explore are- Job Satisfaction: Employees who like their job are more likely to come to work than those who find work unstimulating. Work Attitude: Some employees come to work no matter how sick they feel, while others call in sick no matter how well they feel. Company Culture: If management’s attitude is lax and absenteeism is accepted as a normal practice, the organization’s culture may have to be changed before attendance can be improved. Excessive rates of sick leave: As some insurance companies are now are doing, employers need to monitor sick leave rates and reward employees who use fewer sick leaves. Thus, Absenteeism affects the organization from the multiple angles. It affects severely the production process and the business. The effect of unauthorized absenteeism is more than the other types of absenteeism. However, it is difficult to completely avoid absenteeism, but it can be minimized & controlled using various measures… Selecting the employees by testing them thoroughly regarding their aspirations value system, responsibility and sensitiveness. Adopting humanistic approach in dealing with the personal problems of employees. Following proactive approach in identifying and redressing employee grievances. Providing hygienic working conditions. Providing welfare measures and fringe benefits balancing the need for the employees and the ability of the organization. Providing high wages and allowances based on the organizational financial position. Improving the communication network, particularly, the upward communication. Providing leave facility based on the needs of the employees and organizational requirement. Providing safety and health measures. Providing cordial human relation and industrial relations. Educating the workers. Counseling the worker about their career, income and expenditure habits and culture. Free-flow of information, exchanging of ideas, problems etc. between subordinate and superior. Granting leave and financial assistance liberally in case of sickness of employee and his family members. Offering attendance bonus and inducements. Providing extensive training, special allowances in case of technological advancements Once you know the cause of absenteeism in the organization, it become easy to correct, or minimize, the problem. It requires insight into the special dynamics present in your work place. It will require two-way communication, as both the needs of the employees and of management must be met if good attendance is to be achieved. Attendance is not an expectation. It is a right of employers to have good attendance. Each and every employee has a contractual obligation to attend work regularly. All levels of management must believe in, be committed to, and communicate their expectations of good attendance. If a specific number of sick days are considered acceptable per employee, at best that will be the result. Employees will live up or down to expectations. Expectations must be clear to both management and employees in order to bring absenteeism to the lowest. Attendance expectations must be clearly communicated and followed. ANALYSIS OF SURVEY RESULTS Age group of absentees An attempt was made to classify the respondents on the basis of their age groups. For this, respondents included in the sample were classified into four age groups: upon 25 years, , 25 years to 30 years, 30 years to 50 years, and 50 years and above. The information about age wise classified respondents is presented below Table no.3.1 Age wise Classification of Respondents Sal No Description No o respondents Percentage 1 Upto25 19 19 2 25-30 41. 41. 3 30-50 31 31 4 Above50 9 9 100 100 Age wise classiicaion o respondens Above50 9% Upto25 19% Upto25 30-50 25-30 31% 30-50 25-30 Above50 41% The analysis indicates that almost one fifth ( 19%) absentees are belonging o he age group of 25 year. 41% employees are in he age group up to 25-30 Years. 31% employees are in he age group o 30-50 Years. And remaining 9 are in he age group above 50 Years. Analysis significantly indicates that Younger employees were found absent more frequently than the older employees. Gender Wise Classification of Respondent The respondents included in the sample were classified on the basis of their sex for identifying the absenteeism in the city of SIDCUL Haridwar district.. The sex wise classified categories included male as well as female respondents. The results are shown in table no.3.2 Table No 3.2 Gender Wise Classifications of Respondents s.no. Description No. respondents Percentage 1. Male 78 78 2. Female 22 22 Total 100 100 Gender Wise Classification female 22% Male female Male 78% The analysis elaborates that the sample includes 78% male and 22% female respondents. It signifies that the Female employees were found more frequently absent than their male counterpart. Marital Status wise classification of Respondents The respondents included in the sample were classified on the basis of their marital status for identifying the absenteeism in the various industries around SIDCUL Haridwar district. The marital status wise classified categories included married as well as unmarried respondents. The results are shown in table no.3. Table no. 3.3 Marital Status S.no. Description Respondents Percentage 1. Married 76 76 2. Unmarried 24 24 Total 100 100 Married Unmarried The analysis elaborates that the sample includes 76% married and 24% unmarried respondents. It signifies that the sample has been dominated by the married respondents who seems to be more absent from their job. Educational Qualification level wise classification of Respondents The respondents included in the sample were classified on the basis of their education level for identifying their level of abseeintism. The education level wise classified categories included those respondents who were educated up to matrix and below, undergraduate, graduation level, post graduate and professional degree to their credit. The information regarding this is highlighted in table no. 3.4. Table no 3.4 Educational Qualification level wise classification of Respondents S.no. description No. of respondents percentage 1 Matriculation & 27 27 below 2 Under graduate 26 26 3 Graduate 35 35 4 Post graduate 4 4 5 Professional 8 8 qualification Education Professional wise Classification qualification Matriculation Post & below 7% graduate 27% 4% Matriculation & 0% below Under graduate Graduate Post graduate Professional Graduate qualification 36% Under graduate 26% total 100 100 The analysis of the data indicates that the sample is dominated by the respondents who are educated up to graduate and above as it was indicated by almost 39% respondents in the sample. . The analysis indicates that the sample includes 27%, 26%, respondents respectively educated up to matrix and below, under graduation. It is also found that 8% respondent belongs to those categories who are having professional degree to their credit. Family size The respondents included in the sample were classified on the basis of their family size for identifying their level of absenteeism. The family size wise classified categories included those respondents whose families includes, less than 4 member, between 4 to 6 members and more than 6 members. The results are shown in table no .3.5. Table no -3.5 Family size s.no Description respondents percentage 1 Less than 4 56 56 2 4to6 members 31 31 3 More than 6 members 13 13 Total 100 100 Family Size More han 6 members 13% Less than 4 Less than 4 56% 4to6 members More han 6 members 4to6 members 31% The analysis suggests that the sample includes 56%, 31%, and 13% respondents whose family size is less then 4 members, 4 to 6 member And more than 6 members respectively. Analysis clearly signifies that the sample is dominated by the respondents whose family size is up to 4 members. Monthly income An attempt was made to classify respondents on the basis of their monthly income. For this purpose, the respondents were classified in the following categories: One who have a monthly income below Rs.5,000 per month. The other categories include, monthly income from Rs.5,000 to Rs.10,000, Rs.10,000 to Rs.15,000, and Rs.15000 and above per month. The information regarding the monthly income wise classified respondents is presented in table no.4.6. Table no table no.4.6 Monthly Income sl.no description No. of respondents Percentage 1 Below Rs. 5000 35 35 2 Rs. 5000-10000 40 40 3 Rs.10000-15000 18 18 4 Above 15000 6 6 Total 100 100 The analysis projects that the sample includes 35%, 40%, 18%, and 6% respondents respectively representing the group of respondents with monthly income, upto Rs.5,000, Rs.5,000 to Rs.10,000, Rs 10000 to Rs 15000 and Rs 15001 and above. This signifies that the absenteeism is dominated by those respondents who are having the monthly income between Rs.5000 to Rs. 10000 PM. Type of company Absenteeism is one of the indicators to monitor and evaluate various labor welfare programmed and labor policies. With this aim in view, statistics on absenteeism amongst the workers are collected of different sector industries was collected. The information in this respect is presented below. Table no 3.7 Type of Industry S.no Description Respondents percentage 1 Manufacturing 31 31 2 Trading 34 34 3 Service industry 29 29 4 others 6 6 Total 100 100 Classification as per type of industry Manufacturing others Manufactu Service 6% ring Trading industry 31% 29% Service industry Trading 34% others The analysis indicates that sample is dominated by those respondents who belong to trading industry as it account to 34% respondents in the sample. Manufacturing companies was indicated by 31% respondents in the sample. 29% employees indicated that they belongs to service industry and remaining 6% indicated that they belongs to other type of industry Location/Residence An attempt was made to isolate the respondents as per their location and resident where they are living. The information in this respect is presented below in the table no 3.8 Table no 3.8 Location/Residence S.no. Description No. of respondents Percentage 1 Inside company 13 13 premises 2 Outside company 87 87 premises Total 100 100 Area of residence Inside company premises 13% Inside company premises Outside Outside company company premises premises 87% The data presented in the above table indicates that more than 87% employees reside the outside campus area. Only 13% employees reside inside the campus. It was found that employees those who were residing outside the campus get absent more frequently. Reason may be the Conveyance problem, so management must provide the conveyance to the employees who reside outside the campus. This will to an extent help in controlling the absenteeism problem. Classification as per Accommodation An attempt was made to classification the respondent on the basis of accommodation provided by the company. The response thus received is presented in the table below Table no 3.8 Classification as per Accommodation S.no Description No. of Percentage respondents 1 Yes 19 19 2 No 81 81 Total 100 100 Accomodation by the company Yes 19% Yes No No 81% The information presented in the above table indicates that only 19% employees have got accommodation from the company. In comparison to this majority of them 81% does not get accommodation in accommodation allowance from the company. Absentees having side business In the new global, competitive scenario where the old rules of the game have changed faster than field hockey, the rules by which human resources have been looked after had to change, too. Clearly only quality people can produce quality goods and services. To that end, programs catering to the physical and mental well being of employees are getting institutionalized. That really is myopic, considering that most people working in the corporate sector spend practically all of their waking, conscious, productive and creative hours in their offices. However they engage themselves in other side business in their lean and leisure time. Keeping this into consideration an attempt was made to know from the employees whether they are engaged themselves in any side business or fully dependent on the company itself. The information in this respect is presented in the following table no 3.9 Table no 3.9 Absentees having side business s. no. Description No. o respondents Percentage 1 Yes 9 9 2 No 91 91 Total 100 100 Classification of employees as per their engagement in side business Yes 9% Yes No No 91% The data presented in the above table and pie chart indicates that very few only 9% employees indicated they were having side business. In comparison to this majority of them 91% revealed that they were not having any side business and are fully dependent on their present job. Job Satisfaction An opportunity for better career growth, stagnation and lack of job enrichment at the present organization are also driving employees to new job avenues. Usually job dissatisfaction is considered to be a root cause of absenteeism. Keeping this into consideration an attempt was made to know from the employees whether they are satisfied with their present job or not. The information in this respect is presented below. Table no 3.10 Job Satisfactions sl.no Description No. of respondents percentage 1 Yes 82 82 2 No 18 18 Total 100 100 Satisfaction with present job No 18% Yes No Yes 82% The information presented in the above table indicates that more than three fourth respondent in the sample are satisfied with their present job as it was indicated by 82% respondents in the sample. Only 18 indicated that they are not satisfied with their present job. Satisfaction level regarding job environment Empirical evidences reveal that globalization leads to inequality. Since globalization emphasizes efficiency. Advanced countries have had a head start over the other countries by at least three centuries. The technological base of the countries is not only wide but highly sophisticated. With the advent of information technology, the role of human resources has emerged as more important. Specialized human skills will become the determining factor in the coming decades. Productive activities are becoming “knowledge intensive” rather than “resource intensive”. This haze changed the working environment to a great extent. Keeping this into consideration an attempt was made to know employees satisfaction with regarding to their job environment. The information in this respect is presented below. Table no 3.11 Satisfaction level regarding job environments sl.no Description No. of percentage respondents 1 Highly 14 14 satisfied 2 Satisfied to 36 36 some extent 3 So-so 11 11 4 dissatisfied 29 29 Highly satisfied Total 100 100 Satisfaction level Highly Highly dissatisfied satisfied Satisfied to some exent 10% 14% So-so dissatisfied 29% dissatisfied Satisfied to So-so some exent Highly dissatisfied 11% 36% 5 Highly 10 10 dissatisfied the information presented in the above table and pie chart reveals that majority of the respondent in the sample are satisfied to some extent or not satisfied to as is combine together account to 76% in the sample. Only 14 % indicated that they were highly satisfied with the present job environment. The answer revealed that there was no apparent connection between the absenteeism & the job environment. Here we are talking about the actual physical working conditions at work….heat, light, air, conditioning etc.Many of workers who said they were satisfied with their job environment, had poor attendance records. Many others who said they were unsatisfied; were never absent. So, no doubt, this factor has a great bearing on absenteeism. Awareness regarding leave rules The management of attendance is an important aspect of supervision in the workplace. The various research studies reveals that the cost of absenteeism is greater than the direct payment of wages and benefits paid durance the absence. Organizations must also consider the indirect cost of staffing, scheduling, re-training, lost productivity, diminished moral, turnover, opportunity cost. The indirect costs often exceed the direct cost of absenteeism. This can be reduced to some extent if the employees are made aware about their importance and their leave rule and so on. Keeping this into consideration an attempt was made to know the level of awareness regarding the leave rule and other organization procedure related to their leave. The information in this respect is presented below. Table no 3.12 Awareness regarding leave rules s.no Description No. of respondents percentage 1 Fully aware 21 21 2 unaware 79 79 Total 100 100 Awareness about leave rule Fully aware 21% Fully aware unaware unaware 79% The information pertaining to this reveals that majority of the employees were not aware about the rule and regulation of the organization regarding leave as it was indicated by 79% respondents in the sample. Only 21 % revealed that they were fully aware about the rule in this respect. In the answer to this question, there was a dramatic switch over. This gives the impression that there is a partial awareness or unawareness among employees. So, there is a need to take various steps to make employees aware of leave rules & procedure through various tools & introductory programmers. Relationship with colleagues Building Positive Relationships Are Necessary Because We Are Dependent On Each other. Building positive relationships is something we all want. We form bonds with all types of different people from our boss and colleges, to our friends and family. Unfortunately many of us have just gone about it the wrong way. But the good news is that we can change our behavior and break our bad relationship habits. By improving your self esteem and learning good interpersonal communication skills, you can change your relationship situation almost instantly. Building trust in relationships can't be done before you build trust in yourself. So when you're ready to treat yourself the as a well respected individual, the same kind of people will be drawn to you. Table no 3.13 Relationship with colleagues sl.no Description No. of respondents percentage 1 Excellent 14 10 2 Good 44 29 3 Fair 65 43. 4 No so good 16 11 5 Bad 11 7 Relationship with colleagues Bad Excellent 7% 9% Excellent No so good Good 11% Fair No so good Fair Good Bad 44% 29% In information presented in the above table indicates that 82% of absentees enjoy a good relationship with their colleagues. Though this factor plays a deciding role & has an impact on the rate of absenteeism. Feeling about company What your customer thinks of you is not only important, it is everything. Image is also important in dealing with the community in which you work, governmental agencies, lenders and so on. Image is the way others (clients, employees, the community, competitors, etc.) perceive your company and its products. And, it is the action you take to bring that about. It means using the old adage of “putting your best foot forward.” Image must make sense and be believable and accurate. It must be consistent – in visual approach as well as in the way you handle customers. Image can mean gaining a visual identification of your company by its customers such as with a logo. However, it is not limited to this. Image is a part of everything you do including written materials, the way you deal with customers and others, what people noticed about you, etc.Establishing an image should be part of your marketing and human resource plan. Keeping this factor into consideration an attempt was made to know the feeling about the employees about the image perceived by them about their present organization. The information in this respect is presented below Table no 3.14 Feeling Abut Company s.no Description No. of respondents percentage 1 Excellent 25 25 2 Good 52 52 3 fair 23 23 Total 100 100 Feeling about company fair Excellent 23% 25% Excellent Good fair Good 52% Here that identifiable thing called “company image” was questioned. The feeling of most of the employees or absentees was excellent & good as it was indicted by 77 % respondent in the sample. . Awareness regarding standing orders For the smooth functioning of organization every company forms some rules and regulation and standing orders for the employees at all the level. For proper functioning and order execution it is necessary for the organization that all the employees should be aware about the standing order. This is most important technique for educing absenteeism in the organization. Keeping this into consideration, an attempt was made to know the level of awareness of employees about the rules and regulation of the organization. The information in this respect is presented below. Table no 3.15 Awareness about Standing Orders s.no Description No. of respondents percentage 1 Yes 26 26 2 No 74 74 Total 100 100 Awarenss about standing orders Yes 26% Yes No No 74% Orders. The information presented in the above table indicates the very alarming/shocking. Major portions of about 74% employees were found unaware of these orders. This is a major backdrop and defect on the part of management. Management must strictly work towards developing awareness among employees regarding the Standing Main causes of absenteeism Workers' responsibilities are multiplying at home and at work. Studies have consistently found that implementing workplace policies that help workers balance work and family responsibilities improve employee morale, reduces turnover, and increases productivity.” There are many reasons of absenteeism such as serious accidents and illnesses, low morale, poor work conditions, boredom on the job, lack of job satisfaction, inadequate leadership and poor supervision, personal problems (financial, marital, substance abuse, child care, etc.), poor physical fitness, inadequate nutrition , transportation problems, stress and excessive workload etc. keeping these factors into consideration, an attempt was made to know from the employees to list the important reasons which causes them to be absent from work. Some of the important reasons as highlighted by the employees is presented below in the table no Table no 3.16 Main causes of absenteeism sl.no Description No. of respondents percentage 1 Sickness 31 31 2 Social &religious 23 23 cause 3 Job dissatisfaction 38 38 4 others 8 8 Total 100 100 major cause of Absenteeism others Sickness 8% Sickness 31% Social &religious cause Job dissatisfaction 38% Social &religious Job dissatisfaction cause 23% others The information presented in the above table reveals that Sickness, Accidents or Maternity: factors accounted for about 31% of absenteeism among the employees of SIDCUL Haridwar area. Social & Religious Causes: under these factors are clubbed such issues like visiting villages for attending marriages and other social ceremonies, besides regular attendance at home town at the time of religious festivals. Such factors were found causing as high as 23% of total absenteeism. Absenteeism due to Job Dissatisfaction accounts 38% in the sample. Other causes: like visiting villages for attending litigation, matters, rest, recreation & other causes was accounted for 8% of absenteeism. Person Responsible for Managing Absenteeism Each year, employee absenteeism drains millions of rupees from organizations across the country, and each year the issue is viewed in both the private and public business sectors as a costly detractor from work productivity and management practices. Though Human Resources departments are expected to implement and seek out new strategic business plans that benefit employers, in most organizations, effective absence management plans often go unaddressed. it is imperative that HR professionals view the gaining control of employee absenteeism as a significant and strategic contribution to their organization. Traditional methods of absenteeism control based only on disciplinary procedures have proven to be ineffective."…Discipline by itself does not identify or address the root causes of absenteeism. Discipline programs might give the illusion of control. If absenteeism is to be controlled, the physical and emotional needs of employees needs to be addressed Keeping this into consideration an attempt was made to know from the employees about Person Responsible for Managing Absenteeism In their organization. Information in this respect is presented below. Table no 3.17 Person Responsible for Managing Absenteeism Sl.no Description No. of respondents Percentage 1 Top management 15 15 2 Middle level 42 42 management 3 Lower level 43 43 management Total 100 100 Person Responsible for Managing Absenteeism Lower level Top management management 43% 15% Top management Middle level management Lower level management Middle level management 42% the information presented in the above table indicates that in most of the organization the abseeinteeism is managed by middle and lower level management as it is indicated by 85 % respondents in the sample. Only 15% respondents revealed that absenteeism is managed by top level management in their organization. Reduction of Absenteeism, A key goal within the department plan Unauthorized or unscheduled absenteeism is a problem for every organization or business. It creates cost and productivity problems, puts an unfair burden on the majority of employees who show up for work, ultimately hinders customer satisfaction, and drains the country's economy. Experience shows that better attendance is synonymous with better quality, lower costs, and greater productivity (Hazzard, 1990). "The keys to success with an attendance management program are to develop a procedure/policy, which will work for your organization; the temporary modified work agreement should be a living document; you need a good cultural fit of solutions, whether it be a collaboration or education of stakeholders; invest the time to return employees to work; and work with benefits providers or seek third party assistance."to manage these problem management must have a policy reduce absenteeism. Reduction o asceticism should be a key goal within every department planning. Keeping these factors into consideration an attempt was made o know from he employees whether reduction of absenteeism is a key goal within the department plan or not. The information in his respect is presented below Table No 3.18 Reduction of absenteeism, a key goal within the department plan sl.no Description No. of respondents Percentage 1 Yes 10 10 2 No 51 51 3 Don’t know 39 39 Total 100 100 Reduction of absenteeism , a key goal within the department plan Yes 9% Don’t know 39% Yes No No Don’t know 52% the information presented in the above table revels that 52 % employees are of the opinion that concept of Reduction of absenteeism , a key goal within the department plan is not available in the organization where as 39 % expresses their unawareness about the subject. Only 9% agree to the statement. This indicates that company should focus more on building the awareness about the topic so that all the employees be made aware about the various issues related to this. Absence policy Literature on absenteeism reveals several recommendations for managing absenteeism. Controlling absenteeism in the workplace begins with a sound absenteeism policy that is incorporated into an employee handbook. The policy should define absenteeism and outline consequences for those who break the rules or whose absences become unacceptably disruptive. Keeping hose accords into consideration an attempt was made o know room he employees whether their organization is having a absenteeism policy or the information in this respect presented below Table no 3.19 Existence o Absenteeism policies s.no Description No. of respondents Percentage 1 Yes 35 35 2 No 22 22 3 N/A 43 43 Total 100 100 Management of Grievence Policy Yes N/A 35% 43% Yes No N/A No 22% The information presented in the above table indicates that more than one third employees in the sample are of the opinion that their exist a absenteeism policy in their organisation as it was indicated by 35 % employees in the sample. 22% reveals that there is not any absenteeism policy and it is handled on case by case basis. On the other hand 43% employees does not know about the any existence of absenteeism policy. Process of handling absence It is frequently asked by most of the manager that how he should deal with the fact that on any given day a substantial number of his employees are absent from work. Empirical evidences and various research studies reveals that the problem of employee absenteeism is a problem best resolved by taking the following four positive interventions versus taking a negative or punitive approach like Changing Management Style Changing Working Conditions, Provide Incentives and Develop an Attendance Policy. This can be achieved by developing the effective process of handling the absence. Keeping his into consideration, an attempt was made to know from he employees whether their organization is having he process to handling the absence. Table no 3.20 Process of handling absence s.no Description No. of respondents Percentage 1 Yes 36 36 2 No 23 23 3 Don’t know 41 41 Total 100 100 He information presented in the above table indicates that more than one third employees in the sample are of the opinion that their exist a proper process absenteeism policy in their organization as it was indicated by 36 % employees in the sample. 23% reveals that there is not any process absenteeism. in comparison to this 41 % employees does not know any thing about the process of handling absenteeism in their organization. Record of absence Every company should have an attendance policy. An attendance policy allows a manager to intervene with an employee who is frequently absent. Besides stress as a primary reason for employee absenteeism, other causes relate to alcoholism, domestic violence, and family problems. If management confront an employee about his or her frequent absenteeism, and they inform that it is due to personal problems, consider referring the employee to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). For effective absenteeism management every organization should have proper record o absenteeism. Keeping his into consideration an attempt was made o know from the employees whether their organization is having the proper Record of absence. The information in his respect is presented in the table below. Table no 3.21 Record of absence s.no Description No. of respondents percentage 1 Yes 45 45 2 No 25 25 3 Don’t know 30 30 Total 100 100 FINDINGS Social & Religious Causes (30%) and Sickness, Accidents or Maternity (22%) has been revealed as the main cause for Absenteeism by most of the employees. While other causes- like visiting villages for attending litigation, matters, rest, recreation etc. was accounted for absenteeism by a majority of (40%) employees. Younger employees of less than 25yrs of age were found absent more frequently than older employees but the latter are absent for longer periods of time A majority of employees were found unaware of Leave Rules (76%) 84% employees were not familiar of Standing Orders. It was found that female employees get more frequently absent as compared to their male counterpart. Employees who live outside the campus were found frequently absent then local employees. A majority of employees of about 66% who get absent were found to be from outside the campus. Very few employees were found running their side business. Their has been found no correlation between job dissatisfaction & absenteeism at various industry across SIDCUL Haridwar as most of the absentees were fully satisfied with their job & work environment. CONCLUSION No doubt Absenteeism is a universal problem in the industry & is not peculiar to Indian industry. It has been observed that the phenomenon of Absenteeism does not exist only in Indian industry; it is a universal fact. The difference is only in terms of magnitude. The rate of Absenteeism varies from industry to industry, place to place, occupation to occupation. It differ according to the make-up of the work force. It as a major barometer of employee morale, absenteeism above 5% per week is very serious (3% is the standard goal of industry). Left unchecked, high absenteeism usually develops into very serious business problems including morale issues and high turnover. If absenteeism is to be controlled.- the physical and emotional needs of employees must be addressed. Insight into the special dynamics present in work place & two- way communication is required, as both the needs of the employees and of management must be met if good attendance is to be achieved From the study conducted in deepen small and medium scale firms, around state capital o Utatrakhand, it is concluded that the attendance management system is such good; the facilities, work environment are best of its kind, that the rate of Absenteeism is almost negligible. Most of the management personal strongly believes in achieving organizational excellence through Human Resources and follows “People First” approach. The success can largely be attributed to the continuous fulfillment of all the corporate objectives, one of which seeks to adopt an appropriate Human Resource Development policy. It has taken a number of steps and measures, small or big, which together have contributed in evolving an integral Human Resource Management approach. An in depth analysis of HR related problems like Absenteeism and their causes, is done time to time to lay down appropriate policies, rules and norms for the complete well being of its employees. It considers HR as the most valuable resource and the company is committed to provide all possible facilities & opportunities to keep the employees committed to attendance. So, In order to develop willingness on the part of all employees to attend work regularly & to assist them in motivating their co-workers the company is taking all possible steps. RECOMMENDATIONS No doubt there is absenteeism is a serious problem or most of the managers engaged in dire sector industry around SIDCUL Haridwar. it is working hard towards bringing it to its lowest. The Attendance Management System of this unit is really best and need to be applauded but it still require a little bit of perfection in areas… Affirmative action need to be taken to control absenteeism in such a way as not to create mistrust, costly administration & systems avoidance. Employees need to be made aware of leave rules & standing orders. The physical & emotional needs of employees must be addressed. Management must try hard to develop a willingness on the part of all employees to attend work regularly & to assist them in motivating their co-workers to attend work regularly. Management must work towards the successful administration of an attendance management program Absence policies need to be critically looked upon as these are often not used for the purposes they were intended. Management must explore the most common potential problem areas like job satisfaction, work attitude, company culture, and excessive rates of sick leaves. Management must strictly work towards finding out the causes of worker discontent & eliminate them. Management must & need to look at absenteeism a little more closely, in terms of the principal reason (sickness…) for it. Worker’s way of reacting & responding to discontent need to be changed. The organization should make employees aware of & understand the loss by absenteeism to them. The practice of participative management should be preferred. The organization should provide various health (physical & mental) schemes not only for the employees but also for their family members. Cultural programmers should be organized to relive the job stress. Various programmed should be organized to reduce alcoholism & drugs use among workers. 100% attendance award must be introduced.
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