Impact of participation in a worksite wellness program on presenteeism: A quantitative study of Pennsylvania workers

by Cser, Jaime R., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2010, 183 pages; 3404608


Many organizations have focused their time and efforts on controlling the costs associated with absenteeism. However, the research now suggests that presenteeism costs an organization more money than absenteeism. Worksite wellness programs have been successful in controlling absenteeism costs. In light of this evidence, the impact of participation in a worksite wellness program on presenteeism is a critical element of cost control. Workers that are more productive can offer an organization major economic return by decreasing presenteeism. As awareness arises of the problem associated with productivity loss due to health-related illness, growing concern in the workforce for the associated costs is rising as well. Therefore, there is a huge opportunity to understand the impact of participation in a worksite wellness program on presenteeism. Presenteeism is coming to work while sick. The theoretical foundation for this study was human capital theory. This research study sought to understand what motivates workers to participate in a worksite wellness program. The enhancement of workers’ health improves the organization’s overall performance and profitability by increasing worker productivity and decreasing costs. The quantitative study used an online survey to understand the impact of participation in a worksite wellness program on presenteeism. The findings of the research showed that participation in a worksite wellness program did have a positive impact on presenteeism. Participants of wellness programs at work could concentrate better and focus more. Participants also had higher job performance and productivity than non-participants. The study also looked specifically at control variables of job type, age, and gender. The research concluded that job type is the control variable that played the most significant role in the study. The research findings also concluded that gender and age were not significant variables in presenteeism. The research study examined the determinants of presenteeism including monetary rewards, fear of job loss, insufficient resources to cover job responsibilities, and disciplinary actions. Although none of the four were statistically significant, they are still important to further research in the area of presenteeism.

AdviserMary F. Whitman
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Organization theory
Publication Number3404608

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