Absenteeism at work is a major problem for many labor organizations and their employees. Such absences disrupt work processes, lead to loss of productivity and increase work pressure among co-workers. Moreover, absence is an indicator of employee health and well-being. (Ybema et al., 2010)
The research project is led by Kathleen Vangronsvelt and Eva Geluk.
Research project as part of the preliminary process for the Chair of "Wellbeing Works"
Mensura, Bpost, B-Tonic (dochteronderneming van Baloise Insurance)
Today there are many interventions to reduce absenteeism at work, yet absenteeism remains high and rising. When we zoom deeper into the literature, we see that not that much is known about "what makes an absenteeism intervention work?" On top of that: the interventions that do exist are very often not based on these (scarce) evidence-based insights and knowledge.
One-year preliminary course on the science behind sick leave interventions (2022)
During this preliminary project, Eva Geluk and Kathleen Vangronsvelt focus on the question "What makes an absenteeism intervention work?" and more specifically on the sub-questions
Tertiary interventions: interventions intended for employees who resume work (with the same or different employer (interventions aimed at work resumption) after illness/absence. When is a work resumption successful, and for whom? And how do we measure success? What can we learn from this particular one?
The supervisor: What is the supervisor's role in an absenteeism policy? What can a supervisor do to reduce absenteeism and ensure the health and well-being of employees?
Consult the blogs and articles under the publications tab to gain more insights about absenteeism.
Interventions based on scientific research thanks to chair (2023-2026)
During the chair that follows this preliminary trajectory (2023 - 2026), Eva and Kathleen will set up interventions - supported by scientific insights - and measure their effects on absenteeism and other well-being indicators.
Therefore, organizations' efforts to promote well-being can be put towards interventions that have a real impact. This will allow effective interventions and knowledge to be developed and shared. The ultimate goal is to increase the level of well-being on the work floor.
Blog: Preventing sick leave, burnout and psychosocial distress in the workplace: what does work?
More and more organizations are launching initiatives to give their employees a mental boost. Unfortunately, they are usually organized from a gut feeling, rather than opting for avenues with scientifically proven effect.
Blog: 4 mechanisms that play a role in absenteeism
It is important to keep a dual focus when looking at absenteeism: one on health promotion and illness prevention (involuntary absence) and another on motivation and mindset (voluntary absence). To better understand the possible influence of a supervisor on absenteeism, it is essential to know that four mechanisms can be at play.
Blog: For 1 in 3 employees, talking about mental well-being is taboo
Discuss mental well-being with your colleagues. Showing vulnerability can be hugely beneficial. The influence of colleagues is often under-researched when it comes to absenteeism. Social network analysis is a refreshing approach for your organization.