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Workplace health promotion and employee health in Swedish municipal social care organizations
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1965-7147
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0282-2820
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8256-4437
2014 (English)In: Journal of Public Health, ISSN 0943-1853, E-ISSN 1613-2238, Vol. 22, no 3, 235-244 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aim

The aim of this explorative study was to investigate the employers’ management characteristics, their provision of workplace health promotion (WHP) measures, and employee satisfaction with WHP in relation to employee health in Swedish municipal social care organizations.

Subjects and methods

A cross-sectional design was used, and questionnaires were sent to top managers (representing the employer) and employees in a nationwide random sample of 60 of the 290 municipal organizations for the social care of elderly and disabled people in Sweden. The questionnaire data from the 60 managers were linked to aggregated employee data concerning self-rated health and satisfaction with WHP from a representative sample of 8,082 employees in the same organizations. All analyses were performed at the organizational level using independent t-test, Spearman’s rank correlation and multiple linear regression analysis.

Results

In the multivariate analysis, the organizational WHP index (i.e. local WHP projects and WHP coordinators), individual WHP index (i.e. health profile assessment, fitness activities and medical check-up), and the level of employees’ satisfied with WHP were associated with employee health (F = 9.64, p < 0.001, adjusted R2 = 0.48). General organizational and management characteristics were, however, not statistically related to employee health.

Conclusion

The results suggest that the provision of individual-directed and organizational-directed health-specific measures were related to employee health in Swedish municipal social care organizations and, therefore, can be part of a comprehensive approach to address WHP.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2014. Vol. 22, no 3, 235-244 p.
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Working Life Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-25417DOI: 10.1007/s10389-014-0616-9Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84905711497OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-25417DiVA: diva2:730370
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare
Available from: 2014-06-27 Created: 2014-06-27 Last updated: 2016-01-18Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Managing workplace health promotion in municipal organizations
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Managing workplace health promotion in municipal organizations
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The workplace is a suitable setting for health promotion, not least due to the amount of time employees spend at work. Previous research indicates large variations in employers' handling of workplace health promotion (WHP) efforts. However, more empirical knowledge of how WHP is handled in public sector organizations is needed.

The overall aim of the thesis was to explore how WHP is managed and implemented in municipal organizations. The thesis draws on health promotion as the point of departure, further accompanied with concepts related to organizational change and implementation research.

The thesis is based on three studies using different empirical materials. Both quantitative and qualitative research designs were used. In the first study, questionnaires were sent to both top managers and employees in a nationwide random sample of 60 of the 290 municipal social care organizations in Sweden. Data were analysed at the organizational level, linking WHP measures provided by the employer to employee health. In the second study, interviews concerning the management of WHP were carried out with senior managers representing various departments in two municipalities. The third study analysed the implementation of a health-promoting leadership programme, and the interviews made, concerned the experiences of line and middle managers participating in the programme.

The results show that the provision of individual- and organizational-directed WHP measures was associated to employee health at the organizational level. Furthermore, the senior managers described WHP management as components contributing to the organization's capacity for WHP. However, they mainly described WHP as providing healthy lifestyle activities, and mapping working conditions and employee health. In the study analysing the implementation of the leadership programme, line and middle managers described employee involvement as an enabling factor, whereas high workload and lack of senior management support were barriers described. Recurrent organizational changes and other politically-initiated projects and routines were also pointed out as competing events in the implementation process.

From this thesis, it can be concluded that WHP management is dominated by measures directed towards the individual employee and needs to include more of psychosocial and organizational measures. Finally, the varied organizational conditions for municipal managers as well as the support from senior management and human resources staff needs to be considered and ensured as part of an active and continuous WHP practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen University, 2015
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 172
National Category
Work Sciences
Research subject
Working Life Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-27245 (URN)978-91-7485-183-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-02-27, Beta, Mälardalens högskola, Västerås, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-01-12 Created: 2014-12-30 Last updated: 2015-02-05Bibliographically approved

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