Though the name “Zizzi Restaurant” may sound alien to any other resident of the United Kingdom, in South East England, the above-mentioned restaurant chain is quite famous for its Italian flavour and rather reasonable prices. The company has gained an impressive popularity among the target audience; however, a closer look at the firm will show that it may have started developing major problems on an organisational level. Over the past few years, the staff members have been displaying an evident tendency to absenteeism, which has been affecting the quality of the company’s overall performance.
Because of a close focus on the production process, which ensues from the company’s mission and vision, Zizzi has acquired major problems with its staff. As a result of poor job satisfaction rates, the staff tends to avoid performing their tasks, therefore, displaying rather high rates of absenteeism in the workplace. The specified problem can be addressed with the help of a reconsideration of the company’s vision and an integration of incentives to improve the staff’s performance rates.
Does the rate of absenteeism among the staff grow in an inverse proportion to the job satisfaction rates among the employees? Can financial incentives and moral encouragements improve the current state of affairs concerning staff absenteeism at Zizzi’s?
Job satisfaction is currently considered one of the major factors shaping the quality of the staff’s performance (Saari & Judge 2004). Indeed, according to the existing evidence the personnel, whose efforts are recognised and awarded properly, is eager to achieve an even greater success in order to be distinguished among the rest of the employees and receive further encouragement for attaining an even more impressive result in the course of the production process (Saari & Judge 2004).
Absenteeism, in its turn, is traditionally triggered by the unwillingness to excel in a specific area in the workplace and the need to repress the memories about unfortunate or otherwise negative working experience (Bevan & Hayday 1998).
The statement concerning the possible link between job satisfaction and absenteeism is not new. Landy and Conte (2004) make it very clear that dissatisfaction in the workplace is closely connected with the phenomenon of absenteeism. The concept of absenteeism should not be linked solely to the improper working conditions, though; as Landy and Conte (2004) explain, absenteeism may also be induced by specific features of an employee’s personality (Robins & Judge, 2006) and have little to do with the actual corporate environment: “there are clear connections between aspects of personality and various work behaviours, both productive (e.g., job performance) and counter-productive (e.g., dishonesty, absenteeism)” (Landy & Conte 2004, p. 120). One must admit, though, that, when the specified phenomenon can be observed among most of the staff members, there are reasons to suspect that the company’s policy leaves much to be desired (Torrington, Hall & Taylor 2008).
A closer look at Zizzi’s current policy towards the people employed in the organisation will show that there are reasons for a major concern (Hofstede, Hofstede & Minkov 2010) and a rearrangement of the company’s priorities (Mullins 2007). A strong emphasis on the customers’ needs seem to put the employee satisfaction issue in the shadow. As the existing evidence shows, the issue can be addressed with the help of a reconsideration of the company’s vision and HRM strategy. Landy and Conte (2004) also make it quite clear that the relationship between the two phenomena in question is much more complicated than a mere direct proportion; instead, it is reasonable to assume that the emotion related variables are not stable and, instead, consider the issue on a case-by-case basis.
It is worth bearing in mind that the situation, which Zizzi restaurant chain is facing at present, can be helped. According to Buchanan and Huczynski (2007), not only the financial aspect of a job, but also the emotional effect that it has on an employee, shapes the attitude of the latter towards their duties and responsibilities to a considerable extent (Boella & Gross-Turner 2013). Therefore, a shift towards an employee-centred company vision and the HRM strategy that will be aimed at employee satisfaction will help improve the current situation.
Seeing that the subject of the research concerns the relationship between the existing variables, i.e., the rates of job satisfaction and absenteeism among the staff of the Zizzi’s Restaurant, the research design can be defined as quantitative. Hence, the study will be conducted in accordance with the key principles of a qualitative research.
The quantitative data required for the research will be collected with the help of questionnaires distributed among the staff of Zizzi’s. It should be born in mind that the data acquired from thirteen restaurants are going to be integrated into the research. To be more specific, sixty questionnaires will be distributed among the restaurants’ personnel in order to identify the rates of the staff’s engagement and job satisfaction. In addition, focus groups will be included into the study design.
As far as the data analysis is concerned, it should be mentioned that the data in question will incorporate nominal, ordinal, interval and ratio information. Indeed, it will be reasonable to include several types of questions into the questionnaire, including the ones with multiple-choice answers and the ones that presuppose Likert-type responses. Hence, it will be crucial to incorporate the elements of different approaches in order to evaluate the data properly. At present, percent distribution can be viewed as the most adequate method of data analysis.
It would be wrong to claim that the research has no limitations whatsoever – quite on the contrary, some of the possibilities are quite limited. For example, the amount of research participants is quite small, with only sixty responses to be processed after the survey is over. Apart from the target demographics issue, the concern regarding the amount of samples should be mentioned. For a quantitative study to be objective, a large number of samples are required. The sixty test result, which are going to be analyzed in the course of the research, are rather scarce for making a generalised statement concerning the relationship between the employee satisfaction rates and absenteeism.
It is suggested that the lack of job satisfaction, which is caused by the improper working conditions and the absence of encouragement from the company’s leaders, affects the rates of job satisfaction among the staff, therefore, triggering a rapid increase in absenteeism and a significant drop in motivation rates. A qualitative research based on an analysis of survey results will help determine the ways of addressing the issue and identifying other factors that lead to a drop in motivation and performance rates among the staff.
Bevan, S & Hayday, S 1998, Attendance management: a review of good practice, The Institute for Employment Studies, Brighton, UK.
Boella, M J & Gross-Turner, S 2013, Human resource management in the hospitality industry: a guide to best practice, Routledge, New York, NY.
Hofstede, G, Hofstede, G & Minkov, M 2010, Cultures and organizations: software of the mind, 3rd ed, McGraw Hill Professional, New York City, NY.
Landy, F J & Conte, J M 2004, Work in the 21st century: An introduction to industrial and organizational psychology, John Wiley & Sons, New York City, NY.
Mullins, L J 2007, Management and organizational behavior, Financial Times Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.
Robins, S P & Judge, T A 2006, Organizational behavior, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.
Saari, L M & Judge, T A 2004, ‘Employee attitudes and job satisfaction,’ Human Resource Management vol. 43, no. 4, pp. 395–407.
Torrington, D, Hall, L & Taylor, S 2008, Human resource management, 7th ed, Pearson Education Limited, Essex, UK.