Substance consumption and workplace absenteeism: the moderating role of job satisfaction
Van Jaarsveld, J.A.
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Substance consumption and absenteeism problems are becoming a growing concern in many South African businesses. This is also a major concern for this power utility in Mpumalanga. Limited research investigates workplace absenteeism that results from substance use. Past research established that there is some form of relationship between substance use and absenteeism, but did not examine the influence of job satisfaction on this relationship. Limited research exist in South African organisation on job satisfaction-absenteeism relationship. Literature studies clearly indicate that an inverse relationship exists between employee job satisfaction and absenteeism. The general objective of this research was to determine the relationship between the levels of substance consumption, job satisfaction and absenteeism, and to determine if job satisfaction levels predict absenteeism and the substance consumption of the employees in a power utility in Mpumalanga. The research consisted of two separate studies, reported in article format. In article 1, it was investigated whether a relationship exists between employee absenteeism and substance use levels. This relationship was confirmed. In addition to this, the role of individual variables on absenteeism and substance use were investigated, and findings indicated that there are indeed some individual variables at the power utility in question that have an influence en absenteeism and substance use behaviour. Furthermore, article 2 of this research study focuses firstly on the relationship between job satisfaction, absenteeism and substance consumption at a power utility in Mpumalanga in order to address the shortcomings in this field. The study focuses on the moderating role of job satisfaction on workplace absenteeism and substance use amongst the employees at a power utility in Mpumalanga. This research study investigates the relationship between substance use and absenteeism, as well as the effect of substance use levels on employee absenteeism. In addition to this, the study scrutinises the extent to which job satisfaction predicts absenteeism and substance use levels and investigates the moderating effect of job satisfaction on absenteeism and substance use levels amongst the employees. The aim of this research study is to determine the influence that substance use has on absenteeism and to determine if job satisfaction can moderate an employee’s attitude towards using substances or being absent from work. Moreover, absenteeism and substance abuse in South Africa are rising and it is essential to investigate these topics further. Employee job satisfaction, which is measured by the research questionnaire, is used to predict employees’ behaviour towards absenteeism and substance use levels. The aim of the study is obtained by validating and contrasting the findings obtained from the research questionnaires that were completed. An empirical research approach was used and data were gathered by means of a survey regarding employee absenteeism, job satisfaction and substance use levels. A total of 239 permanent employees, based at a power utility in Mpumalanga, participated in the research study. The employees who completed the questionnaire were employed in a permanent position at the power utility; they have been in the company’s employ for more than three months and gave consent to participate willingly in the research study. The main findings of this study revealed that younger, female employees are more prone to high levels of substance use and absenteeism; that the frequency rather than the quantity of substance consumption has an influence on employee absenteeism; and that job satisfaction truly plays a moderating role in the relationship between substance consumption levels of employee absenteeism. The findings of this study can be implemented to assist managers and supervisors to understand the relationship between substance consumption and absenteeism and how job satsfaction influences this relationship in order to properly restrict unnecesary absenteeism and promote job satisfaction among employees. International findings, such as the finding that younger employees consume higher levels of substances than older employees, were confirmed. A shortage in research was determined regarding the substance use levels of managers and the influence of family status on absenteeism and substance use levels. By adding scientific research to the lacking literature, this research contributed to the field of study.