Respond to 2 peers
Absenteeism is any failure to report for or remain at work as scheduled, regardless of the reasons. It is a scenario whereby employees fail to follow a schedule that requires them to be at work at a given time. It does not entail vacation, personal leave, jury-duty leave, or other reasons. Absenteeism in the workplace is a common phenomenon, costing the US economy approximately $84 billion annually (Zia-ud-Din, Arif & Shabbir, 2017). Some female employees in the federal government department misuse the leave benefit and claim that family responsibilities interfere with work. The study aims to utilize the MARS model and evaluate the reasons behind absenteeism in the federal government department and how it can be reduced.
MARS is an acronym for individual Motivation, Abilities, Role Perception, and Situational factors. The model elaborates on individual behaviors due to internal and external factors or both influences combined. One of the reasons for absenteeism is unfair compensation for sick leave. Based on the MARS model, this is an internal factor that is supposed to motivate staff working in the federal government department offices. However, when the department fails to compensate some employees for genuine sick leaves, they tend to create free days for themselves. Some staff in this department, especially ladies, take advantage of sick leave whenever they want to deal with personal matters. The department needs to draft policies and procedures regarding work absences to reduce absenteeism due to sick leaves. For example, they can articulate that all staff contact HR by 8 am through a text message or email if they are sick on the day of absence. Medical notes should also be provided on return days at work to ensure genuine sickness is compensated fairly.
Another reason for high absenteeism in federal government offices is substance abuse. One of the critical pillars of the MARS model is individual behaviors and results. When people abuse drugs, they always change their behaviors, which triggers the expected outcome. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health conducted between 2008-2012 in the US, 7% of workers misusing prescription drugs reported a high absenteeism rate. It is not different in the federal government offices as most absentees consume drugs like alcohol, affecting the usual way an individual is supposed to report for duties (Florence et al., 2016). The department should stop punishing members for abusing drugs and help them through rehab to reduce this.
Age is another reason that leads to high absenteeism in federal government offices. The department staff comprises members from all age groups, but the older people are the majority since they are experienced. However, they face the challenge of absenteeism even if most are genuine. Older people face common medical conditions such as back and neck pain, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, and others, making them miss work frequently to seek medication. It can be reduced by establishing a flexible working schedule, such as working from home when seeking medical attention. The senior staff is productive and resourceful to the department, and it’s worth leaving them out because of their age.
Billett, S., Dymock, D., Johnson, G., & Martin, G. (2011). Overcoming the paradox of employers’ views about older workers. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 22(06), 1248-1261.
Florence, C., Luo, F., Xu, L., & Zhou, C. (2016). The economic burden of prescription opioid overdose, abuse, and dependence in the United States, 2013. Medical care, 54(10), 901.
National Survey on Drug Use and Health. (2012). Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUHresults2012/NSDUHresults2012.pdf
Zia-ud-Din, M., Arif, A., & Shabbir, M. A. (2017). The impact of workplace incivility on employee absenteeism and organization commitment. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 7(5), 205-221.
Employees in the organization must be motivated in order to do the assignment successfully. Even if they are well compensated, there are other elements that influence their job morale. At the same time, the employee should be monitored to ensure that they are not abusing the rights that have been granted to them.
Employee behavior could be examined using the MARS model based on criteria such as motivation, ability, role precipitation, and other situational circumstances. If the motivational factors are low, employees are more likely to perform poorly in the workplace or prefer to take frequent breaks. When an individual lacks the necessary skills to complete a task, they may take time off to avoid their duties. Even if the employee’s role precipitation is unsatisfactory, they may not show up. Aside from that, there may be various situational circumstances, both personal and professional, that influence an employee’s behavior within the firm.
Methods for addressing absenteeism include allowing female employees to work at their own schedule. If the company requires employees to work for eight hours, female employees may be offered the option of arriving late, working for eight hours, and leaving late, or vice versa. Handling the remaining male employees may require a competent assessment of the situation. They should be removed in order to better understand the causes of absenteeism. Employee development programs could be supplied if they lack any abilities. Motivational considerations such as prizes or promotions could be discussed. The firm should take steps fast, so that the employees start coming to work regularly and the organizational goals are met.
I think that it is hard for a company to claim that people are misusing sick leave benefits. If these benefits are available to employees they are allowed to use them however they seem fit and the company can either address this by reducing the amount of sick leave or just accepting that their employees are allowed to take sick days. Since it seems like the issue is performance in relation to the absenteeism and there are a couple ways that the company can address this situation.
If most of the absences are coming from female employees because of family responsibilities or other external environmental factors, they can try and restructure their work hours in order to compensate. If a lot of these employees are missing work because they have to care for their sick kids or need to stay home because of child care issues, the company should look into work from home situations that allow for employees to telecommute. I think that this situation in particular has to do with motivation and role perception. Employees might not feel motivated enough by their work or feel placated in their roll. If a company were to reduce sick days like I mentioned earlier, this might reduce motivation again because the employees wont feel valued. I think that if a company were to go the extra mile and allow people to work from home during situations where family responsibilities would otherwise keep them home, it could boost motivation and reduce absenteeism overall.
Speaking from personal experience, I have never had the opportunity to work from home for any job that I have had. I think it is important to note though that I have had to have conversations with employees about excessive absenteeism and how external environmental factors play into those absences quite a bit. Not only that, but making sure the employee feels affirmed and feels the importance of their roll in the bigger picture can help drastically.
M., D., V., Z., D., P., & J., P. T. (2021). Organisational Behaviour during the Pandemic. Polish Journal of Management Studies, 24(1), 6179. https://doi-org.northernvermont.idm.oclc.org/10.17512/pjms.2021.24.1.04
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