Presenteeism is the act of an employee showing up at work without fully engaging their energy, hearts and minds. In many organizations, it is actually the norm. Employees gather around the water cooler talking about what they’re manager is doing wrong, what the company should be doing for them, what a lousy place they live they work in or spending time preparing grocery lists, shopping or surfing the internet, chatting on msn. These are all symptoms of disengagement and emotional distress in the work place.
When people are disengaged at work, it is generally because they suffer from the same disengagement from themselves. They are not aware of their needs, motivations, or primary striving style and so unconsciously they expect others to meet their needs for them. They become angry and upset when this doesn’t happen. Because they are unable to do anything with these emotions, they stop striving to be the best they can be and start surviving the workday. When they are at work, they can’t find the energy or motivation to meet their commitments and deadlines. They blame others for their condition rather than looking at how they have created this state in themselves.
Terry left university believing that he would get a high paying job, advance quickly and would be recognized for the intelligent, hardworking individual that he believed himself to be. He went to work for a large bank. He was recognized for being a hard worker, yet he did not receive the promotion or the level of pay he believed he was entitled too during the first year on the job. Terry was used to being in control of his success and found it unbearable that he was not able to get immediate traction. He began to blame the bank and his manager for not seeing how much he had to offer. He openly discussed this with other employees who also felt entitled to better treatment, better pay and promotions to roles where they had more autonomy. This began to impact their productivity and colleagues who were engaged in their work felt distressed by their attitudes and constant complaining. They would send emails back and forth to each other; chat online; play computer games and actively look for other jobs while at work. Terry and his cohorts exhibited the key symptoms of presenteeism, disengaging from work and being resentful of others who actually enjoyed their jobs.
Entitlement is only one of the causes of presenteeism. Many people look outside of themselves for validation and to be taken care of rather than investing their energy to get their own needs met and feeling proud of doing so. People do not know the predominant need they need to meet at work in order to continue striving and self actualizing, yet their is an underlying expectation that others should meet it. Fear, anger and frustration cause employees to use surviving behaviours at work rather than striving and investing themselves in their work.
Watch for more about Striving Styles and Presenteeism.
Anne Dranitsaris, PhD

Author's Bio: 

The Visionary Striving Style

Anne Dranitsaris, Ph.D, brings a lifetime of study, “psychological savvy” and hands-on clinical experience to helping people become who they are meant to be. Her interest in creating mental health, coupled with her interest in personality systems and the dynamics of human behavior, has influenced the development of the Striving Styles Personality System.

Holistic Approach to Learning

Driven by a vision for a holistic approach to emotional and physical health, Anne chose educational pursuits that aligned with her passion. At the same time, she studied at mainstream universities such as Ryerson (Business Management), University of Toronto (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Religious Studies) and ADR Institute of Ontario (Alternate Dispute Resolution). Anne looked for training institutes that would help her integrate the cognitive, emotional and physical approaches to healing the mind and body. This education included: receiving her degree as a Registered Massage Therapist; graduating from the International School for Spiritual Sciences (Montreal); psychotherapy certification from the Centre for Training in Psychotherapy (D.C.T.P); studies at the Masterson Institute for Disorders of the Self (New York); and a Ph.D. in Therapeutic Counseling from the Open International University for Complementary Medicine (WHO).

Committed to lifelong learning, Anne has completed postgraduate programs in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Spiritual Self-Schema Development, Brain and Behavior and Emotional Intelligence (EQ-i), and she has been a long-time follower of the work of Carl Jung. Anne continues to stay educated and informed about recent advances in neuroplasticity, brain development, mindfulness and social intelligence.

Executive Coaching & Corporate Therapy

Anne became one of Toronto’s first Executive Coaches in the late 1980’s. She could see the direct application of the therapeutic tools to the corporate world, which drove her to expand her work into that realm. Anne began using the title of corporate therapist to indicate the depth with which she worked with leaders and teams developing emotional intelligence, behavioral competence and relationship skills in organizations. She has also used her unique approach to work through dysfunctional relationships, partnerships, teams and boards.

Prior to starting SKE, Anne built several successful companies including Sage Developmental Resources, an organizational consulting firm focused on behavioral alignment, and the Centre for Mindful Therapies, which offered customized Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction Programs to organizations and individuals. In addition, she worked extensively with Heather on Several global leadership development initiatives for Caliber's clients, providing both individuals coaching and facilitating high performance team development at the executive and senior management levels.

Sought After Writer

A prolific and frequently cited writer on the impact of behavior, emotional intelligence and personality styles in the workplace, Anne has written a series of books on personality type based on Jung’s theory of Psychological Type. The Personality Profile Series© books are used to help individuals in coaching and counseling to understand themselves, their environment, their partners, and their children. Anne's latest series of books, The Jung Typology Series©, focuses on understanding the impact of personality type on employees, teams and leaders.

Anne has been featured in the media — on radio and on television — as well as in a wide range of national and international publications including USA Today, The New York Post, Huffington Post, The Toronto Star, NOW Magazine, The Globe and Mail and Additionally, her work has appeared in three issues of “O” Magazine within the past year, with her article on Striving Styles being included in the “O” Annual as one of the year’s top articles. She has recently been contracted to write for an upcoming issue of “O”.