(This blog is written by our guest: Robert de Muralt – Consultant De Muralt & Dechesne)
Nowadays, many organizations have to deal with high absenteeism rates. Research of NRC and Bureau interview NSS, among others, shows that 60% to 80% of all absenteeism has nothing to do with sickness, but with demotivation, labour conflicts, high workloads, lack of pleasure in work, and involvement with the company.
Do you recognize this as an experienced manager and are you fed up about the high absenteeism rates within your company? Do you also have high sickness rates, labour conflicts, demotivated employees or a lack of pleasure within you company?
You believe that you have done and currently do everything possible to decrease the absenteeism rates. You asked your HR department for some support and back-up, you let external parties do research in your company, you have organized teambuilding activities, and you even performed research about the underlying motives for employees. Nothing seems to work. You cannot answer the “why” question in any way. You become despondent and the pressure become too much. The issue keeps spinning in your head. “How do I control the situation?”, “How can I decrease the work pressure?”, “How can I motivate my employees again?”, et cetera.
It is no unwillingness
In my experiences, many people are very motivated and enjoy their work. However, in many cases, the increasing amount of work, the uncertainty, the changes and modifications within the work environment become too much for the employees. When this uncertainty lasts too long, employees create resistance, which will eventually result in distrust.
Resistance in organizations
Resistance occurs in a lot of dynamic organizations and it results from employees’ feelings. A feeling arises when people experience a lot of pressure on the long run, or when they have to perform activities against their will, or when they are being threatened. This is a natural phenomenon. Resistance arises after a lack of enthusiasm. This happens a lot in organizations that are searching their way in the market, or without a shared value system, or those who are led by personal or financial motives, whereby people forgot about the collaborations between people who create shared products or services.
Rebuilding levels of trust
To recover the levels of trust among employees, they should be involves in the company. A lot of organizations have a focus on the realization of organizational goals whereby they forget about the importance of collaborations among employees. In this way, organizations forget about the importance of people, which is crucial to rebuild levels of trust.
Trust as a means to deal with absenteeism
In my experience, the basis for decreasing levels of absenteeism is the rebuilding of trust levels. This requires awareness in people’s needs and interests. By providing insight in the needs and interests of employees, and by communicating with employees about these issues, levels of trust can be recovered.
“Great organizations become great because the people inside the organization feel protected” [Simon Sinkek]
Robert de Muralt – Consultant De Muralt & Dechesne
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