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The causes of presenteeism

Supplier: Mitrefinch Australia By: Katrina Hall
04 January, 2016

Are your staff still mentally on vacation?

Presenteeism, a term that refers to workers coming in to work while sick or otherwise unproductive, is an important workforce management issue that has been linked to diminished performance, as well as worsening health issues and general wellbeing.

A recent study published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology unveiled a fascinating, and surprising range of factors found to be contributing to workplace presenteeism.

They included:

  • Heightened motivation, job satisfaction and commitment to the organisation
  • Harassment, abuse, and discrimination, particularly for taking sick days
  • Large workloads, understaffing, excessive overtime, and time pressure
  • Personal financial difficulties and job insecurity
  • Severe absence management policies (including disciplinary action, limited paid sick leave, sick days requiring a note from a healthcare provider)

Tracking presenteeism (and particularly its associated employee productivity drops) is an issue with the potential to bedevil larger employers, as it is sometimes less tangible or obvious than the opposite issue, absenteeism. Fortunately, with Mitrefinch TMS, employers can benefit from a dashboard of up-to-date information and be able to see if perhaps there are issues with absenteeism and/or presenteeism.

Absenteeism can be measured easily in days an employee or group of employees is absent from the workplace and reported on as irrefutable evidence. Biometric finger scanners add an extra layer of peace-of-mind that buddy-punching is not occurring.

With regards to presenteeism, using Mitrefinch job and labour costing, managers can look at each particular job or task individually and monitor if it’s successful or profitable as well as determine the relative productivity of each employee and whether or not there are ‘presenteeism’ issues at play in the workplace. With the Mitrefinch employee time and attendance system, employees can record not only that they've started work or finished work, but also what jobs they have worked on and for how long throughout their day, feeding into a manager's dashboard of information and insights on production.

Using that information, managers can then begin to tackle the underlying factors for presenteeism and absenteeism and create a better workplace for all.