An Assessment of Factors Affecting Absenteeism: Case Study of a Major South African Manufacturer
Keywords:absenteeism, manufacturing, South Africa, employee relations, developing country
Absenteeism is a major problem globally and, in South Africa, costs the country and companies millions of rands each year. Given the financial constraints on businesses at present, it is necessary to understand the causes of absenteeism in order to determine possible interventions to reduce these causes. A quantitative research design was used to investigate the factors that influence absenteeism at a major South African manufacturer. An exploratory factor analysis was used to reduce the number of factors. The study found that there were seven major factors that had an impact on absenteeism, namely, external factors, management factors, illness, family responsibilities, personal development, working conditions, and motivation. These factors were found to affect different employees differently, and were mainly dependent on the demographic characteristics of the employees. This study provides insights into absenteeism in a typical South African situation. The study finds that because factors that have an impact on absenteeism are different for various employees and are dependent largely on demographic and related attributes, organisations need to develop diverse strategies to deal with the absenteeism issues of different employees in organisations. Future research should investigate the efficacies of various interventions to determine which are most likely to meet the needs of the various groups of employees and thereby reduce absenteeism levels.
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