A large unit, manufacturing electrical goods which have been known for its liberal personnel policies and fringe benefits is facing the problem of law productivity and high absenteeism. How should the management improve the organizational climate?
People-oriented companies are very sensitive to employee opinions. They often review on statistics to check employee opinions on topics of mutual interest, these are the secret workers who survey, ask for employee opinion regarding higher-than-normal absenteeism. The responses have revealed astonishing results - low pay, poor benefits and high workloads were not major causes. Instead, it was due to low job satisfaction, sub-standard working conditions and consistent negative and unfair treatment received by first-line supervisors.
Employees revealed that repetitive, boring jobs coupled with unfair bosses and not-so-good environment led them to make up excuses for not coming to work.
Reasons for high absenteeism:
Job Security among the employees.
Promotion or less productivity.
Less Salary as compared to the market value.
Working environment and its policy and attitude towards the employees.
Limited Career Growth or Promotional Opportunity.
Boring or Unchallenging job duties.
Work Hour ranging from undesirable work schedule, to inflexibility, to overtime.
Lack of Recognition.
Poor Senior Leadership, plus lack of clear vision or directions.
TYPES OF ABSENTEEISM
Scheduled absences - Vacation or personal time, whether part of a PTO plan or separate.
Unscheduled absences - Include sick days, disability, FMLA, and Workers' Compensation leave.
Partial shift absences - Include arriving at work late, early leaving, or taking longer breaks or lunches than allowed.
OUTCOMES OF ABSENTEEISM
Organization handles unscheduled absenteeism by no of ways. In some cases the employees of organization are not replaced this results in low productivity. In some other cases organization maintain excess staff, utilize overtime, or substitute with the agency workers but in any case unscheduled absenteeism are very big problem to the organization which results in increased indirect cost of absenteeism.
Below the outcomes of absenteeism:-
Low productivity - When the absenteeism rate is higher the working time is less. As a result of which the productivity declines.
High cost replacement worker - The business enterprise replace the missing employees with the other employees or contractor or have to pay higher rates overtime levels 28% higher in facilities with high absenteeism than in facilities with low absenteeism.
Excess staffing - Headcount is higher than necessary in order to cover unplanned absences. The employer routinely increased headcount by 13% on weekend to cope with extra absenteeism on Saturday and Sunday.
Enthusiasm, excitement, inspiration, motivation and creativity, if these are found at work place and each in the right quantity can be a tool that will help us define productivity. Barriers to workplace productivity include problems with measuring workload, working conditions, and management style and employee motivation. Employers need to be in a position to recognize the signs of low productivity so they can start formulating solutions.Â
Reasons for Low Productivity:
Ambiguity in Job Profile - When workers know their job, they think and deliver better. It avoids unnecessary complication and state of confusions.
Type of leadership used within the organization - Leaders should be chosen based upon the type and size of organization Viz. bureaucratic, autocratic, benevolence etc. It will help to guide the employees in right direction.
Technology - Software is to be used depending upon the manpower size. They should be time saving and avoid multiple documentations work. Complicated software or irrelevant technology only increases the work load.
Resistance to Change - It prevail in the mind of the employees towards certain situation, technology, people. It happens due some type of insecurity.
Lack of flexibility - Deadlines creates negative impact in the mind of employees.
No or Improper incentives - Incentives act as a motivational factor among the employees.
Lack of Professional Training - Untrained employee are not be able to perform or quality wise produce better results.
No Promotions - This creates monotonous work profile with negative work environment.
Lack of healthy competition - Triggers motivation among employees. It acts as a substance to motivate employees.
All time Tea time - More interests of employees towards gossips, back biting, mocking will deplete self-performance.
Unfocused Employee - Instability in thought process, lack of focus also affects the productivity to a great extent.
Irregularities - Being unpunctual is severe reason for low productivity. Proper measures should be taken to correct irregularities with respect to timings, absenteeism.
Results of Low Productivity:
Low productivity at workplace hinders a business operation.
When there is decrease in employee work, these results in changes in complete system, which harms relationships with customers and ultimately delays in the delivery of goods and services.
The decrease in work production is caused due to stress, conflict, unclear objectives or a poor management figure.
This leads to general disorganization among the staff, as the staff is not able to complete the given routine tasks.
Meetings start late, run more than estimated time and fail to fulfill the actual purpose for the meeting.
Communication between the employees is late, and deadlines and requests for help end up without any effect.
Employees start arguing and quarreling among themselves.
Tempers are noticed flaring as work is not being completed correctly /on time, and interpersonal work relationships can decline as a result of this.
Employees who are not working up to that the level needs to accomplish the shared goal which causes the overall business output to suffer.
Services are not completed and provided to the customer on time, which causes loss of customers, and goods are not up to the mark of standards.
A work environment with a low productivity can demolish a business enterprise, especially in a market where supply must be made quickly to meet customer demands for the good.
Low productivity and stress goes hand-in-hand at work environment. The lack of successful production and the resulting confusions at work can fall behind in work can make the employees feel stressed and pressured.
The feelings can lead to more further drop in productivity, because the situation becomes tenser and the employees feel like the work can never be understood and helped on.
HOW TO BOOST MORALE AT WORK INEXPENSIVELY
Boosting work-place morale is an important issue for companies that have been hit hard by economic downturns. Companies offering fewer pay raises or lying off employees can seriously degrade employee confidence. Employers can try a few low-cost solutions to giving employees a sense of belongingness and excitement in workplace.
Give employees something more to look forward to than a paycheck.
Host a planned lunch or a small tea-break together with a team.
Greet them well so that there is a feeling of belongingness.
Make schedules more flexible.
Parents with children can take "The Mommy Shift," in which their part time schedule is conducive to picking up and dropping their kids off at school.
Employees can be organized into "morale boosting teams" in which they brainstorm company-wide events.
As company dress code permits, have a theme day each week or once a month.
Start a company newsletter. Each month a different employee is singled out for his work achievement.
Set up an anonymous suggestion box in which employees can submit ideas for workplace improvements.
WAYS TO IMPROVE THE CLIMATE OF THE ORGANIZATION
Clear attendance policy - Employees have to understand that what is expected of them.
Flexible scheduling - Helps the organization in reducing the absenteeism. It gives the employees opportunity to select the schedule that are more suitable to their personal needs and helps them to maintain the work pattern.
Shift swaps - Shift swaps helps in reducing the absenteeism. A shift swap means the trading of shifts. It is the process in which the organization maintains the board on which the employees post the dates in which they off and other agents may volunteer to the days that are off.
Link the incentives with the performance of employees/ absenteeism - The incentives to an employee could be linked to the performance and absenteeism rate, this will help the organization in reducing the absenteeism and increase the productivity.
Find the root cause - For the non-regular employee, organization must find out the root cause of that problem and will try to fix a flexible schedule for them.
Salary & wages should be re-worked out - Re-working of salary & wages required when employees are not satisfied with their salaries. Salaries should be performance based.
Teambuilding - Eliminating absenteeism and increase productivity. Teambuilding will give the employees a responsibility and power to solve the problems and power to make decisions.
Employee assistance programme (EAP's) - Employees' assistance programmes usually offers counselling to assist with the wide range of problems including:
Workplace problems: these include harassments, conflicts, violence and restructuring.
Problems at the home: illness, drug, alcohol and relationship problem.
Workplace stress strategies - Most commonly used model for occupational stress is person environment fit model. This reduces the work stress by improving skills of the employees and by reducing occupational stress.
Motivational training programmes - These training programmes will improve the overall performance of the employees. In order to maximise the profit the managers and employees needs to be motivationally trained. Motivational training tells the employees the how to use different techniques and skills.
Sick leave system option - It influences the rate of workplace absence. This basically reduces opportunity or entitlement; these are complex relations which may reward or discourage absence behaviour.
Reduction of consequences - Even though effective workplace management may reduce levels the unavoidable absenteeism continue to occur. Organisations need to have internal processes to cope with the resultant effects of workplace absences. Planned responses may reduce the loss of productivity. Examples include the multi- skilling of staff, rescheduling of work availability, and the involvement of supplemental skilled workers. Workplace policies and working environment should be conducive to the early and mandatory communication of all unscheduled leave taken.
Halsey premium plan - Halsey premium plan is the combination of time and speed of working in which every employee is paid according to the time he is on work. Each employee has to finish the task allotted to him and if he manages to complete his work before the time which has given to him should be awarded with bonuses and the amount of bonuses should be the 50% of time saved.
Company Paid Holidays - The average holiday allocation for state government is 12 days and for for-profits it was eight days. The allowed Employee Liaison Committee to select 12 company paid holidays, including:
Mahatma Gandhi Birthday
Guru Nanak's Birthday
If an employee wishes to work during a holiday or has a different religious preference, we provide flexibility.
Medical review - Many absence problems can be dealt with by discussion between the employee and the supervisor to identify the cause and possible solutions. Where medical input is required, the treating medical practitioner may be the most appropriate to involve initially.
Rewards and penalties - Rewards, penalties and incentives have an important role in absence management and the creation of an attendance culture. Such devices can vary from unambiguous rewards such as financial gain, through to clear penalties such as dismissal or even prosecution for fraud. There is a tendency to underestimate the importance of acknowledgment and public recognition as a form of reward and the use of relative disincentives including requirements to account for leave and provide direct information to supervisors of leave taken. These positive and negative incentives form elements in many programmes that seek to develop an attendance culture.
Travel - Traveling these days can be very expensive when reimbursing employees for mileage. Preferred are the employees to use their own vehicles for travel to avoid the high costs of insuring company-owned vehicles.
Educational Assistance - Through this unique benefit, Admin staff helps pay for employees' professional and personal development. Reimbursement up to some amount is available to each employee for continuing education courses. All courses must be approved prior to enrollment to qualify for reimbursement.
Retirement - All employees approaching or exceeding 40 years old are active participants. There are all sorts of pre-tax retirement plans out there. If you have a sole proprietorship, you may want to consider the Simplified Employee Pension Plan (SEP), since it is easy to set up and is geared toward smaller operations. Other 401(k) plans are more complex. Check with your CPA on the best plan for your business since there are restrictions and guidelines that must be followed.
Disability Insurance - Disability insurance is very expensive. Many pre-existing conditions are not covered or there is a waiting period before the coverage kicks in. it can offers both short and long-term disability coverage for full-time employees. The short-term coverage starts after the 15th day of disability and pays for up to six months at a rate of 60 percent of basic weekly earnings. The long-term disability coverage starts after six months of continuous disability and pays 60 percent of basic monthly earnings. Coverage lasts up to age 65.
Life and Accidental Insurance - Each employee receives a complimentary life and accident policy based on their salary. Employees can purchase additional insurance at their expense.
Worker's Compensation - It pays for certain benefits if an employee is injured on the job. Employers are required to maintain worker's compensation insurance, which is issued by private insurance companies through a policy.
Informal Dress Policy - Employees in some organizations visit with customers in the field and rarely deal with clients in our corporate headquarters. Therefore, there should be casual dress policy at our headquarters that not only saves employees money on dry cleaning but also creates a more relaxed environment. They each maintain a set of professional clothes in their offices in case a customer suddenly announces they want to meet.
Profit Sharing - There should be an informal profit-sharing program where the organization owner allocates some profits to employees when the company does well.