AN ASSESSMENT ON THE IMPACT OF EMPLOYEES ABSENTEEISM ON PERFOMANCE IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT AUTHORITIES: A CASE OF BUSOKELO DISTRICT COUNCIL
The purpose of this study was to make an assessment on the impact of workers absenteeism on perfomance in Busokelo District Council. This concern has been studied within several working areas and departments of the Busokelo District Council both at the headquarters and in other places like the ward level as well as villages in the governmental subdivisions. The objective of these case studies was to find out the genuine effects and possible recommendations that could be helpful to the local government authorities for their performance and good services provision. In this study Qualitative (interviews) was utilized to collect data and then data was analyzed. Workers absenteeism is a costly problem in most of the government authorities especially in the Local government authorities in Tanzania. Absenteeism costs huge amount of money for replacements, where by additional costs are incurred through new employees that are needed to replace the absent workers. The impact of workers absenteeism has not been given considerable attention by human resources professionals in Local government authorities in Tanzania. This research is valuable since it helps to understand the impacts of absenteeism consequently come up with the suggestions on how to reduce or deal with the problem. The study has found that excessive work load for remaining staff, delay in daily routine, poor customer’s satisfaction and complaints from the society are some of the impact of absenteeism. Hence, the management should take necessary steps to correct deficiencies in various institutions and fulfill the needs of workers which will enhance their satisfaction and motivation and thereby improve retention of the employees so as to provide quality care and services to the society.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1.0 INTRODUCTION ....
1.1 Overview of the Study .........
1.2 Background to the Study....
1.3 Statement of the Problem.....
1.4 General Objective.....
1.5 Specific Objectives .......
1.6 Research Questions ...
1.7 Significance of the Study.......
1.8 Justification of the Study .............................
1.9 Scope of the Study..................
1.9.1 Profile of the Area of study........
1.9.2 Administrative Structure of the Council.
1.10 Organisation of the Study ....
CHAPTER TWO ..
2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW ....
2.1 The history of Absenteeism .........
2.2 The conception of Absenteeism ...
2.2.1 Blameless or Innocent Absenteeism..
2.2.2 Culpable or Blameworthy Absenteeism ......
2.3 Theories Relevant to Absenteeism .....
2.3.1 Psychological Theory .......
2.3.2 Sociological Theory
2.3.3 Economic Theory .....
2.3.4 Attribution Theory.
2.3.5 Equity Theory
2.3.6 Nicholson’s “Attachment” Theory on Absenteeism ..
2.4 Timing, Measurement and Length of Absence .
2.4.1 Short-term absence ..........
2.4.2 Medium-Term Absence ......
2.4.3 Long-Term Absence ........
2.5 Conceptual Framework...........
2.6 Research Gaps ...............
CHAPTER THREE .............................
3.0 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY.......
3.2 Research Design ...
3.3 Study Population .
3.4 The Sample Size............
3.4.1 Sampling Technique ..
3.4.2 Random Sampling ..............
3.4.3 Purposive Sampling .....
3.5 Data Collection Tools
3.5.1 The Interview as a Tool In Research ...
3.5.2 Characteristics of Interview
3.5.3 The Reason for Using Interview ..........................
3.5.4 Document Review as a Data Collection Tool.....
3.5.5 The Reason for Using Document Review .
3.6 Data Analyzing Procedure ............................
3.6.1 Methods of Data Analysis.................
3.7 Qualitative Validity .............
3.7.1 Credibility ................
3.7.2 Transferability .....................
3.7.3 Dependability .............
3.7.4 Confirmability ............
3.8 Ethical Consideration
4.0 FINDINGS/RESULTS AND DISCUSSION..
4.1 Profile of Respondents.
4.1.1 Gender of Respondents...
4.1.2 The Designation of Respondents..
4.1.3 Years Respondents have been working in Busokelo District Council
4.1.4 Respondent’s Educational Qualifications .
4.2 Findings and Discussion of the Research Objectives
4.2.1 Absenteeism rate at Busokelo District Council
4.2.2 Reasons for Absence of Workers In Their Jobs .
4.2.3 Consequences of Employees’ Absenteeism..
4.2.4 Disciplinary actions taken by the management to reduce absenteeism of
4.3 Supervisors Competence on Management Issues ...
4.4 Measures to Reduce Absenteeism ...
CHAPTER FIVE ......
5.0 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS .
5.1 Conclusion ..
5.2 Recommendations/ Suggestions...
5.3 Directions for Future Study ..
LIST OF TABLES
Table 4.1 Sex of Respondents
Table 4.2: Designation of Respondents-
Table 4.3: Work Experience of Respondents -
Table 4.4: Respondents Level of Education-
Table 4.5: Respondent's View on Absenteeism
Table 4.6: Respondents Views on Challenges of Employees
Table 4.7: Respondents Views On Reasons For Absenteeism
Table 4.8: Respondent's Views on Poor Supervision as the Reason for
Table 4.9: Respondents (Supervisors) Attended Management Courses-
Figure 2.1: Conceptual Framework ...
LIST OF ABBREVIATION
BDC - Busokelo District Council
CBI - Confederation British Industry
EAP - Employees Assistance Program
LVG - Local Government Authority
MHRM - Master of Human Resource Management
OUT - Open University of Tanzania
PO-RALG - President’s Office-Regional Administration and Local Government
1.1 Overview of the Study
Local Government can be defined as a sub-national, semiautonomous level of administration discharging its tasks in a particular area within a state or nation. By definition, Local Governments are the rank of government that are contiguous to the community and consequently responsible for serving the political and material needs of citizens and communities at a specific local area. Such areas could be a rural setting or an urban setting, a village, a town, a suburb in a city or a city, depending on the dimension or size. (The United Republic Of Tanzania, 2016).
The objective of the Busokelo District Council as the local government authority is to provide efficient services to the community at large. Some of the functions of Local Governments authorities including Busokelo District Council are formulation, coordination and supervision of the implementation of all plans for financial, industrial and communal development in their areas of control, Monitoring and controlling the performance of duties and functions of the council and its staff, Ensuring the collection and appropriate use of the revenues of the council, Making by-laws appropriate throughout their areas of jurisdiction, and considering and improving by-laws made by village councils within their areas of jurisdiction, Ensuring, regulating and coordinating progress plans, projects and programmes of villages and township authorities within their areas of jurisdiction, Regulating and monitoring the collection and utilization of revenue of village councils and township
authorities and Subject to the laws in force, doing all such acts and things as may be done by a people’s government (The United Republic of Tanzania, 1982).
Busokelo District Council as the local government authority experiences a problem of employees absenteeism which impacts on organizational effectiveness and on the performance of employees.
1.2 Background to the Study
Absenteeism is defined as a failure to report and stay at work as programmed, in spite of any cause (Cascio W, 2010). In relation to Human Resources management absenteeism is the proportion of work days missing through member of staff illness or absence in the place of work (Boxall, Purcell, & Wright, 2007).
In general, absenteeism can be defined as a consistent failure to appear, particularly for work or other usual duty. Workers may take a leave or not report to work for a diversity of reasons, some of these may be unmanageable factors like illness, urgent situation, accidents and other reasons; on the other hand also employees may also take leave while they are able to be present at work.For that reason when recruits are absent in the workplace with any cause whether legally or not all these kinds of absence from work are termed as absenteeism of workers in the workplaces.
Although all employers are aware that sometimes absences are inevitable, reduced attendance by employees can affect the bottom line by harmfully impacting output, work excellence, self-confidence and customer service and satisfaction. There are numerous contributing reasons that impact on an organization’s objectives but one of the most costly is absenteeism. Employers need to handle all forms of non- attendance in a fair and transparent way to reduce disharmony in the workplaces. Within the context of the public subdivisions in Tanzania there could be dissimilar interpretations of conditions of service that relate to absence from a workplace. For example, some employees employed in the Local Government Authorities (LGAs) could perceive that they are on duty when consulting any client while at home.
Managing workplace absenteeism is one of the difficult human management issues facing employers and employees for years and even today. This study tried to identify the causes of absenteeism in the workplace as well as its impacts; the findings of this study will be useful to the management of human resources and reduce employee’s absenteeism at work places. In his article Munro (2007) suggests that the issue of absenteeism should be researched to assess the extent of such perceptions and actual loss of working hours in a given productivity.
Therefore this study is so important in expanding knowledge about absenteeism of workers in the workplaces specifically by studying the issue at Busokelo District Council as the case study which is one of the Local Government Authority in Tanzania.
Most organizations do not usually connect monetary cost to the loss caused by workers absenteeism, they usually feel very unwilling to attack the problem and some organizations are unaware of the problem. Extensive time, effort and cash are poured into attracting, selecting and training members of staff, but too little of the same are directed towards reducing absenteeism. It was worthwhile carrying out this study because of the numerous problems associated with employees’ absenteeism and its attendant effect on the productivity and effectiveness of an organization or firm.
This study was conducted at Busokelo District Council (BDC) found in Mbeya region and not any other Local government Authorities due to various factors, some of them were; cheap travelling costs by the researcher within the district council hence reaching various Local Government workplaces easily, access to various equipments to support the study, access to the population of interest as well as achievable research costs.
Various factors were analyzed in selecting the area where to conduct the study hence Busokelo District Council has been chosen basing on the mentioned above factors. Even though this place has been chosen as a case for this study but yet various matters which have been studied from this research will help in improving and dealing with absenteeism in other Local Government Authorities especially District Councils in Tanzania as all of them are having almost the same structure and system of control and management. This research has been conducted by taking interview with the management of organizations and the workers to find out the causes of absenteeism, effects of absenteeism and possible solutions to deal with the problem.
The findings from this study at Busokelo District Council cannot be generalized to other Local Government Authorities or other organizations because the
circumstances are not the same. It will call for much larger study to be able to generalize. However at least, the consequences can form the basis for extra study and a contribution to ongoing research experiments on the outcome of workers absenteeism.
1.3 Statement of the Problem
Employees’ absenteeism has been in the middle of the serious troubles facing majority of the workplaces for years particularly in the government authorities. Employee absence at the place of work doesn’t only affect someone or an employee who is absent at the workplace, but rather the employees in general and their departments are affected. From the economic point of view absenteeism leads to the loss of potential productivity plus the increased government expenditure on needless interventions for example overtime costs and other benefits to workers may be required to make up work. Absenteeism reduces spirits of others and hence low output of an organization (Warren, 2002).
The functions of Local Government Authorities are disadvantaged due to workers absenteeism. This problem is one of the main harms facing many sectors in Tanzania. Small percentage of workers absenteeism may cause considerable amount of production lost. Workers absenteeism directly affects the production and productivity. It causes a replacement which is costly and time consuming, so many formalities have to be followed to maintain and replace a person hence during that time production is hindered to a great extent.
The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of workers absenteeism in the Local Government Authorities taking Busokelo District Council as a case study and the findings will support towards putting down strategies to be employed to reduce the absenteeism in the work place. However the findings will also contribute to the literature in absenteeism.
The study is important as it will contribute to the performance of local government which is an engine towards the economic development in the philosophy of decentralization. Local Government Authorities are vital to the economic growth and development of the national. For this reason the ability for these organizations to make such a contribution is largely dependent on human resources who possess the knowledge, skills and abilities to deliver desired outcomes.
The importance of dealing with absenteeism of workers in any organization is of serious importance considering that voluntary absenteeism of key employees have direct and indirect negative consequences for the organizations.
Even though various investigations has been carried out in Tanzania looking upon absenteeism of workers, however such studies mainly based on education matter for example the absenteeism of teachers in primary and secondary schools. Therefore there is an inevitability to asses absenteeism of employees in Local Government Authorities regardless of their departments whether education, health, administration or any other department at Busokelo District Council.
1.4 General Objective
The general objective of this study was to examine the impact of absenteeism in workplaces of Local Government Authorities where Busokelo District Council is the case study.
1.5 Specific Objectives
In order to meet the above aim, this study addresses the following objectives:
i) To identify the level of absenteeism at Busokelo District Council.
ii) To assess the impact of employees absenteeism on performance in the
workplaces at BDC.
iii) To recommend strategies that can be used by Busokelo District Council to
reduce staff absenteeism and stabilize performance.
1.6 Research Questions
The following research questions were formulated for the study:
i) What factors influence workers’ absenteeism at Busokelo District Council?
ii) How does the management at BDC tackle workers’ absenteeism?
iii) What strategy can be used by BDC to reduce high level of absenteeism?
1.7 Significance of the Study
The findings of this study will make solid suggestions to Busokelo District Council to trim down employees’ absenteeism. It is hoped that this study will also help other Local Government Authorities in Tanzania and offer advice for improving organizational effectiveness and workers performance.
The study also will if possible suggest some of the basic approaches and methods that can be used by the Busokelo District Council and other practitioners opted to solve the trouble of absenteeism. The study will help to assure the desire of the researcher and target of carrying out the schoolwork of interest which will be fundamentally done to comply with the necessities of writing a research report which partially lead to the award of the Master degree of Human Resource Management.
Also it will be able to give an insight into the various troubles associated by absenteeism which governmental institutions face in their effort to employ skills acquired from the training and thereby advise solutions to help reduce the circumstances.
Basically, the rationale of this study will guarantee that the results are used to bring some helpful changes in running of the diverse development programs both at the district, region and national levels, ultimately leading to better transformations.
1.8 Justification of the Study
The rationale of this study is to examine the cost of absenteeism. Instead of asking what causes absenteeism, we want to identify the fundamental impact of absenteeism, what effect absenteeism has on the worker, adjoining workers, the work group, the institution and society at large.
The aim is to offer an improved theoretical thoughtful of the questions. At the same time as there are possibly thousands of studies investigating the determinants of
absenteeism, there are probably less studies that examine the effects of absenteeism on other criteria.
The basis for studying the end result of absenteeism should be noticeable, primary there are very a small number of empirical researches tracing the effect of absenteeism on other decisive factor variables, also there are attitude often articulated by administrators on the impact of absenteeism on output and costs. Basing on this work, it will be suggested that organizations should recognize the causes and impacts of workers absenteeism and look for the means of reducing it and consequently improve their performance. The study findings will also propose some of the approaches that could be taken up by different organizations to overcome the challenges connected with absenteeism which are obstructions to the achievements.
1.9 Scope of the Study
This study was based in the Busokelo District Council in Mbeya. All employees working in the Busokelo District Council were included to participate in this study. The results of this study will be useful in addressing harms linked with employees’ absenteeism in the Busokelo District Council.
1.9.1 Profile of the Area of study
Busokelo is among the new launched district councils in Tanzania and which was split from Rungwe District Council in the year 2012 due to the need to give services to the community sufficiently and competently. (Mbeya Regional Office, 2015)
1.9.2 Administrative Structure of the Council
Buokelo District Council(BDC) consists of one division which is known as Busokelo and within this division there are 13 Wards and 56 villages. Then villages are sub – divided into 231 sub – villages known as Vitongoji or hamlets.
1.10 Organisation of the Study
This study is offered in five chapters, whereby the first chapter which is the introduction covering the background, statement of the problem, the objectives, research questions, significance of the study, and finally scope and limits of the study. Subsequently followed by chapter two which assessed literature of the study along with the concept of absenteeism, theoretical evaluation where by Psychological, Sociological and Economic theories of absenteeism are argued.
After that the third chapter discussed the methodology of the study which included the research design, population, sample as well as sampling technique, also sources of data and methods of data collection and analysis. Chapter four offer details on data analysis, findings and discussions. To finish, chapter five deal with a synopsis of the study, conclusions from the findings and recommendations of the work.