Original Research

The effect of presenteeism-related health conditions on employee work engagement levels: A comparison between groups

Leon T. de Beer
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 12, No 1 | a640 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v12i1.640 | © 2014 Leon T. de Beer | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 March 2014 | Published: 29 October 2014

About the author(s)

Leon T. de Beer, WorkWell: Research Unit for Economic and Management Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa

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Orientation: Awareness of presenteeism-related health conditions is important as the prevalence of these conditions unknowingly influences performance and productivity in organisations.

Research purpose: The primary objective of this study was to determine the differences in work engagement levels based on groups of presenteeism-related conditions in employees.

Motivation for the study: Awareness of the impact of presenteeism-related conditions on work engagement levels can aid in the crafting of interventions to assist employees who suffer from these conditions, which in turn can boost work engagement levels.

Research design, approach and method: Cross-sectional data was collected from an availability sample of employees in the manufacturing sector (N = 3387).

Main findings: The results of the multi-group structural equation modelling revealed significant mean differences in work engagement levels between the groups. Practical significance tests revealed significant differences between all the groups. The largest difference was between the group who suffered from no presenteeism-related conditions and the group who suffered from all three conditions included in this study concurrently.

Practical/managerial implications: Organisational stakeholders are encouraged to take note of the effects that presenteeism-related health conditions have on work engagement and to consider relevant strategies and interventions to address and alleviate symptoms in order to tend to employee health and obviate the effect on productivity.

Contribution: This study found that there were clear practical differences between employees who suffer from the presenteeism-related conditions and those who suffer from none of the conditions. Furthermore, there was also a clear difference when comparing the ‘no condition’ group to a general random sample in which employees might experience some symptoms but not comorbidity.


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