Events, Activities and Elections

Challenging presenteeism

Presenteeism is used to describe a culture where people feel they will only be rewarded or progress in the party if they put in longer and longer hours. Presenteeism can be particularly apparent during an election period which is often the most intensive time for parties. There is overwhelming evidence that a long-hours culture can be harmful to your members and your productivity. Presenteeism can be especially harmful to people from already underrepresented groups in politics, particularly those who are disabled or have caring responsibilities, and acts as disincentive to putting themselves forward for roles. It also leads to some roles being less valued as people perceive that those not doing intensive activities like canvassing are less committed.

Taking action to develop a wider variety of tasks for people during elections and promoting a culture where taking a break is encouraged will remove barriers to participation for some people. You need to clearly state to members that their value isn’t in the amount of hours they put in or the number of years they have been involved in the party.

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