I read some data the other day on the level of absence in the Australian public sector.  It was astonishingly high.

Why is this … it seems to be a pattern in public sector employment the world over.

There are a number of possibilities.  One is that public sector organisations work their employees so hard or treat them so badly that they suffer stress. Another is that the nature of the work is so unfulfilling that workers lose motivation.

Whatever the reason, something has to be done …  but that ‘something’ must be based on a clear understanding of the problem.  And we don’t have that yet.

We need some research – something beyond asking workers how they ‘feel’ – to determine how we can create work that is satisfying and engaging and does not result in excessive absenteeism.