Lower Engagement Leads To Higher Absenteeism

New research from WorkScore shows that absenteeism is higher when there is a low sense of achievement and engagement at work.

At WorkScore, we conducted an analysis into the survey responses of over 60 employees and found that a low ‘Work’ element score correlates to high absenteeism, demonstrating that negative employee experiences at work severely impact productivity.

WorkScore identified 8 key areas of employees’ experiences at work that impact the number of hours of personal leave taken:
  • Feeling a sense of achievement at work.
  • Receiving regular recognition at work.
  • Feeling engaged by work.
  • Feeling that the workplace’s values and ethics align with personal values.
  • Feeling a sense of belonging and teamwork at work.
  • Having flexibility in working hours/location.
  • Feeling work cares about wellbeing.
  • How employees view the impact of work on their wellbeing.

However, the three key areas that had the biggest impact on absenteeism rates were:

  • Feeling a sense of achievement.
  • Feeling engaged at work.
  • Aligning personal values and workplace values.

When employees rated low in these areas their absenteeism nearly doubled.

Achievement is key

There is a strong correlation between feeling a high sense of achievement and low absenteeism. Our findings show that employees that rated a low sense of achievement had taken double the amount of personal leave in a 6-month period than those who rated highly. Clearly, for employees, feeling a sense of achievement in their role can be the difference between coming to work or not.

Engaged people

The relationship between employee engagement and absenteeism is well understood and unsurprisingly our data shows a strong correlation between the two. In our findings, employees who rated as highly engaged took almost half as much sick leave as those who rated as disengaged.

Aligning values

Employees who felt that their personal and workplace values and ethics didn’t align took close to twice as many hours of personal leave than those who felt closely aligned. This demonstrates the importance of properly and openly communicating business values to employees.


Balancing commitments is a constant challenge for many employees.

Workplace wellbeing

When an employee feels that their workplace cares about employee wellbeing and that the impact of work on their wellbeing is positive, the amount of sick leave taken significantly decreased by up to 16%.

Flexibility makes a difference

Balancing commitments is a constant challenge for many employees, and our data shows that those with low flexibility at work took 10% more personal leave than those who rated as having high flexibility.

Belonging matters

Based on our findings, those employees that rated a low sense of belonging and team work took close to 15% more personal leave than those who rated highly.  Feeling like they belong is crucial to a positive work experience and to reducing absenteeism.

The need for recognition

It’s important for employees to feel their work efforts are being recognised within their workplace. There was a 10% increase in absenteeism between those who responded that they rarely receive recognition and those who rated as receiving regular recognition.