What policies are in place to limit absenteeism in the local public sector?

Rising territorial civil service attrition figures reflect a growing level of anxiety in the work of territorial agents. Academic studies explain absenteeism through two processes. On the one hand, weakening and deterioration of health, a process that affects the ability to exist. On the other hand, the process of demotivation at work is associated with, for example, low satisfaction with work or work in general or low levels of organizational involvement.

In one of our studies, we focused more on two determinants of turnover: one related to the social context, that is, perceived organizational support (SOP), and the other to the work attitude, that is, organizational involvement (IO). The SOP translates the employee’s assessment of the organization’s degree of involvement in his or her relationship. Conversely, organizational involvement reflects the degree to which an employee is invested in his or her organization.

According to our results, territorial agents will have a rather weak perception of organizational support and show a rather negative involvement of a calculated type related to their commitment to stay in their organization due to low job opportunities both internally and externally. . outside their organization.

Participatory approach

Faced with these challenges, a number of local authorities have already implemented management and organizational innovations. What these innovations all have in common is the mobilization of the human resources of local authorities to promote development, prosperity and sharing among employees.

Thus, the city of Alès (Gard) implemented the “DEFI approach” (identify, engage, teach, start). Based on a participatory approach, involving elected officials, department directors and management, and employee participation around thematic working groups, it aims to strengthen social dialogue to co-construct projects and territorial changes. This allowed him to simultaneously implement measures to improve the working environment, reduce work accidents and reflect on new management practices.

This last axis required the implementation of a training, awareness and support campaign for area executives, especially in change management, so that they can best support (bring together, reflect and integrate) their teams and provide them with the necessary resources. to provide better service to users.

The results of this innovation were, on the one hand, a reduction in absenteeism, turnover, insurance costs, presentation, complaints and social conflicts, and on the other hand, a marked improvement in the social climate, motivation and participation. agents’ creativity and the quality of decisions made. This approach gave new meaning to the projects and changes implemented and revived organizational confidence. Its success is mainly due to real leadership and management support.


Likewise, the city hall of Orléans (Loiret) created an internal network of executives – the IX innovation and management network. As a result of leaders’ willingness to work better together to no longer be subject to change, but rather to be its actors, this network communication leverages action and transforms collective dynamics into its tool.

In this perspective, an organization was developed in a participatory mode. This resulted in a management practice based on a bottom-up approach and cross-functional work, where collaboration allowed for an incomplete creativity and enrichment of the managerial profession.

This innovation also made it possible to stimulate the dynamics of training of territorial executives, better application of agent training, maintenance of local management, liaison work with agents in a limited management context. It is a source of motivation, a continuous improvement in the activities of the communities of the Orléans agglomeration, to increase the sense of belonging, to increase the meaning of the actions carried out, to increase their effectiveness / efficiency through the development of a new community. the ability to share information and everyone’s skills with a collective intelligence beyond hierarchical relationships.

As in the previous example, this has resulted in reduced absenteeism of field agents, a better image of the community and greater attraction of talent in terms of recruitment. Similarly, the push and support of top management were key success factors for this innovation.

Basic management skills

Finally, the city of Antibes (Alpes-Maritimes), winner of the 2015 Territoria gold award for its organizational innovation approach, specifically built a reflection-based tool called “Time out” for more collaborative and supportive management. information about practices within services. This management-led exchange time with teams aims to examine the adequacy between the deployed activity and its initial objectives and identify brakes and obstacles to highlight the conditions and team dynamics for the success of the activity. continuous improvement of service activity.

The source of team remobilization, their participation, ownership of work activities, ownership of processes and decisions, creation of meanings, sense of belonging and development of appropriate solutions, this tool highlights resistance, professional failure. and conflicts are not barriers to innovation, but legitimate mechanisms that should be managed as closely as possible to work situations to motivate teams and make them more effective.

It is in this sense that the city of Romans-sur-Isère (Drôme) applies 4 key management skills to face the new challenges of local authorities: unify, regulate, facilitate and innovate. In this direction, to determine the optimal organizational and management processes (federative = push and political vision, the effectiveness of political choices and the effectiveness of management choices), the source of effective behavior of agents in the workplace (perseverance, attractiveness, satisfaction, loyalty to the organization) and at work) to create performance (innovation) to do = foresee, plan) these processes must be adjusted by acting on brakes and obstacles (adjust = flexibility, adaptability, reflexivity) (facilitate = cooperation, social dialogue, transversality, listening , listen, practice, structure).

This approach allows for organizational learning, operational improvement, and adoption and adoption of new practices. All these are opportunities given to agents and management to rethink and reinvent their work activities and legitimize political vision, political and management choices (federation = trust and organizational support, motivation).

What can we learn from these experiences? We identify several key success factors, such as strong political support, management involvement, coaching, support and training to implement management innovations to combat disengagement in the work environment. the work themselves that agents can identify.

In terms of practices, these practices emphasize the importance of continuous social dialogue, managed communication, the dissemination of collective intelligence that requires moving beyond the silo organization of public organizations, non-monetary recognition based on trust and exchange, and the repositioning of relational work. management along a hierarchical line, to agents, combines all statuses, a sense of usefulness and meaning, and actions taken, and a sense of belonging to the organization.

Fatma Safy-Godineau, Lecturer in Management Sciences, University of Pau and Adour Countries (UPPA); Amar Fall, Teacher – HDR, University of Pau and Adour Countries (UPPA) and David Carassus, Professor of Management Sciences, IAE Pau-Bayonne

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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