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Title: Absenteeism in a selected service call centre in Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
Authors: Kaniaru, Evelyn Wanjiku 
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Cape Peninsula University of Technology
Abstract: Absenteeism is a chronic problem that militates against consistency in any organisation’s quality of service, reputation and productivity. It is imperative that businesses should implement appropriate interventions to avert the associated negative consequences. Organisations with a reliable workforce deliver optimal, high-quality service to clients, with no exception. Service call centres strive to meet clients’ requests effectively and efficiently. If this is achieved, a positive reputation and productivity are factors that influence the organisation’s bottom line. Absenteeism is an issue that affects service call centres, both the business and its employees. This has dire consequences if not curbed appropriately and timeously. The annual sickness rate at the company under study was excessive and the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) was a strategy intended to mitigate high levels of absenteeism at the service call centre. Despite the availability of the EAP, absenteeism statistics continued to increase. The investigation intended to measure the relationship between absenteeism and utilisation of the EAP at a service call centre in Cape Town in the Western Cape, South Africa. An online Likert scale questionnaire survey measured the relationship between absenteeism and the EAP, and received 109 responses. The participants comprised call centre representatives and management. Descriptive statistics and factor analysis assessed the collected data, with validity and reliability measured through Cronbach’s alpha. Respondents in the study accounted for 98.16%, of which 64% work in a rotational shift schedule as it is a 24/7 call centre. Illness was identified as the main factor for absenteeism, with 67%, followed by stress, which accounted for 7.3%, despite the fact that stress is strongly associated with service call centres and call centre work environments. Promotion of the EAP is active, as the organisation uses nine methods in this respect. The customer service representatives (CSR) are aware of the EAP in the organisation as it was reported by <65% of the respondents. The respondents reported that management was the least method used to communicate the EAP. In addition, it was unknown that the EAP was implemented to reduce absenteeism by the CSRs, which accounted for <46%. Hence, it was deduced that there is a strong relationship between absenteeism and utilisation of the EAP in the call centre; however, with a 9% variation. Integrated results deduced that high absenteeism in the service call centre is not as a result of non-utilisation of the EAP. Absenteeism is inevitable in any work environment. EAPs are implemented mainly to improve productivity and employee effectiveness, and to curb absenteeism. Effective awareness of EAP promotes utilisation of the programme, which improves employee well-being. This has a positive impact on employees’ work creativity, performance, and the organisation’s bottom line. Effective communication on the programme’s objectives and implementation is imperative, and management should be at the forefront of this. This creates a sense of compassion and caring for the welfare of employees and should increase the use the EAP and result in a decline in absenteeism.
Description: Thesis (MTech (Human Resource Management))--Cape Peninsula University of Technology, 2020
Appears in Collections:Human Resource Management - Masters Degrees

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