A literature search was performed to determine what has already been determined within the areas of staff turnover and use of sick time. The phrase “effect of staff morale on sick leave and turnover” was inputted into CINAHL with limits to the last ten years, and English only. Other narrowing key terms used were job satisfaction or morale and sick leave, absenteeism, and turnover. This search returned hundreds of results, indicating that staff turnover and absenteeism is an identified issue in many areas. There was substantial crossover in many of the themes regarding turnover and absenteeism, however much of the research encompassed one factor only.
There are many definitions regarding absenteeism and turnover throughout the literature, sometimes with varying meanings. Absenteeism was defined as not attending work when scheduled. This ranged from planned absences, such as vacation, to unplanned absences such as sick time (The Australasian Faculty of Occupational Medicine, 1999; Davey, Cummings, Newburn-Cook, & Lo, 2009). Definitions of turnover and intent to leave encompassed staff members who have either already left, or are thinking of leaving their current position (Davey et. al, 2009; De Milt, Fitzpatrick, & McNulty, 2011).
An area that has received a considerable amount of research is the area of job satisfaction. Many researchers have noted that staff who are satisfied in their current job, tend to leave their work areas less often, and are absent less (Davey et. al, 2009; De Milt et. al, 2011; O'brien-Pallas, L., Murphy, Shamian, Li, & Hayes, 2010; Sawatzky & Enns, 2012; Smith, Hood, Waldman, & Smith, 2005; Van Bogaert, et. al, 2013). Many factors have been found to influence employee’s satisfaction in their position. Smith et. al, (2005) found staff “indicating satisfaction with their practice setting expresses a statistically significant higher level of appreciation of job characteristics (P