Understanding the link between leadership style, employee satisfaction, and absenteeism

A mixed methods design study in a mental health care institution

R. Elshout, E. Scherp, C.M. van der Feltz-Cornelis

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Abstract

Background:
In service oriented industries, such as the health care sector, leadership styles have been suggested to influence employee satisfaction as well as outcomes in terms of service delivery. However, how this influence comes into effect has not been widely explored. Absenteeism may be a factor in this association; however, no studies are available on this subject in the mental health care setting, although this setting has been under a lot of strain lately to provide their services at lower costs. This may have an impact on employers, employees, and the delivery of services, and absenteeism due to illness of employees tends to already be rather high in this particular industry. This study explores the association between leadership style, absenteeism, and employee satisfaction in a stressful work environment, namely a post-merger specialty mental health care institution (MHCI) in a country where MHCIs are under governmental pressure to lower their costs (The Netherlands).
Methods:
We used a mixed methods design with quantitative as well as qualitative research to explore the association between leadership style, sickness absence rates, and employee satisfaction levels in a specialty MHCI. In depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten key informants and triangulated with documented research and a contrast between four departments provided by a factor analysis of the data from the employee satisfaction surveys and sickness rates. Data was analyzed thematically by means of coding and subsequent exploration of patterns. Data analysis was facilitated by qualitative analysis software.
Results:
Quantitative analysis revealed sickness rates of 5.7% in 2010, which is slightly higher than the 5.2% average national sickness rate in The Netherlands in 2010. A general pattern of association between low employee satisfaction, high sickness rates, and transactional leadership style in contrast to transformational leadership style was established. The association could be described best by: (1) communication between the manager and employees; (2) the application of sickness protocols by the managers; and (3) leadership style of the manager.
Conclusion:
We conclude that the transformational leadership style is best suited for attaining employee satisfaction, for adequate handling of sickness protocols, and for lower absenteeism, in a post-merger specialty mental health setting.
Keywords: leadership style, transformational leadership, sickness rates, absenteeism, employee satisfaction, qualitative research, specialty mental health care institution
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)823-837
JournalNeuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment
Volume9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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Absenteeism
Mental Health
Delivery of Health Care
Netherlands
Health Care Sector
Statistical Factor Analysis
Communication
Interviews

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title = "Understanding the link between leadership style, employee satisfaction, and absenteeism: A mixed methods design study in a mental health care institution",
abstract = "Background: In service oriented industries, such as the health care sector, leadership styles have been suggested to influence employee satisfaction as well as outcomes in terms of service delivery. However, how this influence comes into effect has not been widely explored. Absenteeism may be a factor in this association; however, no studies are available on this subject in the mental health care setting, although this setting has been under a lot of strain lately to provide their services at lower costs. This may have an impact on employers, employees, and the delivery of services, and absenteeism due to illness of employees tends to already be rather high in this particular industry. This study explores the association between leadership style, absenteeism, and employee satisfaction in a stressful work environment, namely a post-merger specialty mental health care institution (MHCI) in a country where MHCIs are under governmental pressure to lower their costs (The Netherlands).Methods: We used a mixed methods design with quantitative as well as qualitative research to explore the association between leadership style, sickness absence rates, and employee satisfaction levels in a specialty MHCI. In depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten key informants and triangulated with documented research and a contrast between four departments provided by a factor analysis of the data from the employee satisfaction surveys and sickness rates. Data was analyzed thematically by means of coding and subsequent exploration of patterns. Data analysis was facilitated by qualitative analysis software.Results: Quantitative analysis revealed sickness rates of 5.7{\%} in 2010, which is slightly higher than the 5.2{\%} average national sickness rate in The Netherlands in 2010. A general pattern of association between low employee satisfaction, high sickness rates, and transactional leadership style in contrast to transformational leadership style was established. The association could be described best by: (1) communication between the manager and employees; (2) the application of sickness protocols by the managers; and (3) leadership style of the manager.Conclusion: We conclude that the transformational leadership style is best suited for attaining employee satisfaction, for adequate handling of sickness protocols, and for lower absenteeism, in a post-merger specialty mental health setting.Keywords: leadership style, transformational leadership, sickness rates, absenteeism, employee satisfaction, qualitative research, specialty mental health care institution",
author = "R. Elshout and E. Scherp and {van der Feltz-Cornelis}, C.M.",
note = "open access",
year = "2013",
doi = "10.2147/ndt.s43755",
language = "English",
volume = "9",
pages = "823--837",
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T1 - Understanding the link between leadership style, employee satisfaction, and absenteeism

T2 - A mixed methods design study in a mental health care institution

AU - Elshout, R.

AU - Scherp, E.

AU - van der Feltz-Cornelis, C.M.

N1 - open access

PY - 2013

Y1 - 2013

N2 - Background: In service oriented industries, such as the health care sector, leadership styles have been suggested to influence employee satisfaction as well as outcomes in terms of service delivery. However, how this influence comes into effect has not been widely explored. Absenteeism may be a factor in this association; however, no studies are available on this subject in the mental health care setting, although this setting has been under a lot of strain lately to provide their services at lower costs. This may have an impact on employers, employees, and the delivery of services, and absenteeism due to illness of employees tends to already be rather high in this particular industry. This study explores the association between leadership style, absenteeism, and employee satisfaction in a stressful work environment, namely a post-merger specialty mental health care institution (MHCI) in a country where MHCIs are under governmental pressure to lower their costs (The Netherlands).Methods: We used a mixed methods design with quantitative as well as qualitative research to explore the association between leadership style, sickness absence rates, and employee satisfaction levels in a specialty MHCI. In depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten key informants and triangulated with documented research and a contrast between four departments provided by a factor analysis of the data from the employee satisfaction surveys and sickness rates. Data was analyzed thematically by means of coding and subsequent exploration of patterns. Data analysis was facilitated by qualitative analysis software.Results: Quantitative analysis revealed sickness rates of 5.7% in 2010, which is slightly higher than the 5.2% average national sickness rate in The Netherlands in 2010. A general pattern of association between low employee satisfaction, high sickness rates, and transactional leadership style in contrast to transformational leadership style was established. The association could be described best by: (1) communication between the manager and employees; (2) the application of sickness protocols by the managers; and (3) leadership style of the manager.Conclusion: We conclude that the transformational leadership style is best suited for attaining employee satisfaction, for adequate handling of sickness protocols, and for lower absenteeism, in a post-merger specialty mental health setting.Keywords: leadership style, transformational leadership, sickness rates, absenteeism, employee satisfaction, qualitative research, specialty mental health care institution

AB - Background: In service oriented industries, such as the health care sector, leadership styles have been suggested to influence employee satisfaction as well as outcomes in terms of service delivery. However, how this influence comes into effect has not been widely explored. Absenteeism may be a factor in this association; however, no studies are available on this subject in the mental health care setting, although this setting has been under a lot of strain lately to provide their services at lower costs. This may have an impact on employers, employees, and the delivery of services, and absenteeism due to illness of employees tends to already be rather high in this particular industry. This study explores the association between leadership style, absenteeism, and employee satisfaction in a stressful work environment, namely a post-merger specialty mental health care institution (MHCI) in a country where MHCIs are under governmental pressure to lower their costs (The Netherlands).Methods: We used a mixed methods design with quantitative as well as qualitative research to explore the association between leadership style, sickness absence rates, and employee satisfaction levels in a specialty MHCI. In depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten key informants and triangulated with documented research and a contrast between four departments provided by a factor analysis of the data from the employee satisfaction surveys and sickness rates. Data was analyzed thematically by means of coding and subsequent exploration of patterns. Data analysis was facilitated by qualitative analysis software.Results: Quantitative analysis revealed sickness rates of 5.7% in 2010, which is slightly higher than the 5.2% average national sickness rate in The Netherlands in 2010. A general pattern of association between low employee satisfaction, high sickness rates, and transactional leadership style in contrast to transformational leadership style was established. The association could be described best by: (1) communication between the manager and employees; (2) the application of sickness protocols by the managers; and (3) leadership style of the manager.Conclusion: We conclude that the transformational leadership style is best suited for attaining employee satisfaction, for adequate handling of sickness protocols, and for lower absenteeism, in a post-merger specialty mental health setting.Keywords: leadership style, transformational leadership, sickness rates, absenteeism, employee satisfaction, qualitative research, specialty mental health care institution

U2 - 10.2147/ndt.s43755

DO - 10.2147/ndt.s43755

M3 - Article

VL - 9

SP - 823

EP - 837

JO - Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment

JF - Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment

SN - 1176-6328

ER -