Background of the Study
Employee absenteeism is considered one of the most detrimental occurrences facing employers. Personnel from different organizations across industries report different patterns of absence behavior. There’s need for managers to understand the relationship existing between job satisfaction and rate of absenteeism. This is since the consequences of this aspect affects organizations negatively leading to great financial losses.
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Most organisations agree on the fact that employee absenteeism is one of the factors affecting productivity. However, research reveals that one of the causes of absenteeism is the level of job satisfaction. There are three types of absence; ‘sick absence’ where the employee misses work due to health issues, ‘authorised absence’ where the employee acquires permission and ‘unexcused absence’ where employees absent themselves for unrecognized reasons.
The understanding of the relationships provides good platform for designing effective policies capable of providing conducive work environment to the employees. Studies reveal that workers who are less satisfied with their work shows frequent rate of absenteeism compared to those experiencing job satisfaction.
Absence is a function of an individual and situation hence can either be described as “voluntary or involuntary”, where voluntary is based on conscious decision by the employee while involuntary absence incorporates situations that are beyond immediate control of the worker such as sickness.
This study focuses on the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) which was founded in the year 1968 and is considered to be amongst the top performing banks in the United Arab Emirates. The bank has extensive network within UAE operating 120 branches within Abu Dhabi and 50 branches across four continents of the world.
Global Finance magazine ranks NBAD’s as one of the safest banks in the world and specifically in the Middle East. The bank offers various services ranging from retail, investment and also provides Islamic banking services. At the same time the bank appears in the Abu Dhabi Exchange (ADX) listings.
Employers like NBDA bank face some of the common challenges at work place one of which is absenteeism. The bank operates its working system under the country’s labor Law which requires employees to report any form of illness within a period of two days before being granted leave.
Employees are required to produce medical records and evidences of illness covering absence within consecutive days. In dealing with absenteeism, NBDA adopted and enforced the use of medical certificate policy.
All employees are entitled to a leave of 90 calendar days annually with pay as prescribed by the bank’s policies which denies any payment to employee on sick leave if the illness resulted from the employee’s misconduct. Any absenteeism from work without reasonable cause is countered by disciplinary sanctions. The employee is not paid any salary for the day of absence; the fines vary depending on the frequency of the offense.
Statement of the Problem
Absenteeism is associated with no clear cause since the concept is influenced by a host of interrelated factors. This makes the concept very expensive for organizations as well as individual employees. In most cases, studies have focused on employee attitude as major cause of absenteeism.
However, managers and employees tend to view absenteeism from different perspectives. Managers focus on absence as a category of behavior while to employees, the concept comes as a result of perception, feelings and social phenomenon. Research reveals that persistent absenteeism has negative impact on overall productivity as well as morale.
Most researchers argue that job dissatisfaction is directly proportional to the number of days absent therefore necessitates the need for the employee to feel rewarded. Studies also show that absenteeism can be brought about by personal characteristics for example marital status with the unmarried reporting more absenteeism predominantly married females. It is in this respect that this research seeks to evaluate and address the concept of absenteeism within institutions such as NBDA.
Aims and objectives
- To place rules and policies to manage absenteeism among employees at ABU DHABI National Bank
- To establish the major causes of absenteeism among the employees of ABU DHABI National Bank
- To propose a model which can be utilized in testing the proposition that personal characteristics, situational factors and satisfaction are key causes of absenteeism
- To develop a strategy that is beneficial to both the employer and employee in order to improve productivity
- To examine the relationship between individual characteristics, situations, job satisfaction levels and absenteeism for employees in Abu Dhabi National Bank in Dubai
- To investigate the relationship between personal characteristics of age, gender, marital status, education and source of income and rates of absenteeism
- To establish a programme that will help manage and control absenteeism at Abu Dhabi National Bank.
- To establish a reward system that will help deal with absenteeism at Abu Dhabi National Bank
Scope of the project
The study seeks to discuss absenteeism amongst employees focusing on causal mechanisms and reasons as to why employees absent themselves from work. Also knowing the relationship between job satisfactions, personal characteristics i.e. age, marital status, income level and absenteeism.
This study also seeks to establish the effects of absenteeism to the bank’s productivity and profitability levels which in the long-run affects the country’s economy. The research also gives insight to the management of the bank concerning necessary prescriptions capable of handling absenteeism.
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This study also tries to establish whether the management is capable of adopting modern systems used in regulating the number of sick days. There is also discussion on the existing relationship between reward, punishment and absenteeism.
Focus of the Study
The study focuses on establishing the major causes of absenteeism and consequent effects on productivity within organizations such as NBDA. The focus is on the nature of working environment offered and individual reactions towards work in general. This paper emphasizes on personal characteristics relationship to absenteeism and also relations between job satisfaction and absenteeism.
The paper also analyses the various types of absenteeism and seeks to analyse several models which have been proposed for the purposes of establishing and testing levels of job satisfaction. This has generally resulted in different results and findings of which this paper seeks to explain such differences.
Significance of the Study
Frequent employee contributions represent some of the important aspects within an organization. The level of effectiveness with which absenteeism is managed within organizations determines organization’s performance in the long-run.
Whether ‘voluntary’ or ‘involuntary’, absenteeism should be managed using appropriate policies aligned to defined labor laws of specified regions. Work should not be viewed by employees as form of punishment but as a means of fulfilling one’s purpose in life, hence should be performed based on company’s underlined policies, principles, vision and mission statements.