Conference proceedings article

Work Experience and Health before and after interventions among leaders and employees in small-scale enterprises


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Publication Details

Author list: Hansen, Elisabeth;Landstad, Bodil;Vinberg, Stig

Place: Olten

Publication year: 2016

Start page: 26



Background: Workplace-based prevention and rehabilitation programs including strategy to change might contribute to increase employee health. The importance of leader competence in small scale enterprises (SSE´s) to prioritize health and adjusting the work-environment are important. Some studies indicate associations between psychosocial work environment factors and mental health, but contradicting findings suggest that good leadership does not substantially ameliorate any effects of emotional demands at work on employee mental health. The cost-effect for the society as whole, the enterprise alone and the workers employed e.g. regarding sick leave, injury rates, stable employment levels and other factors are complex. Traditionally there has been a focus on these factors mostly in large workplaces, but a broader understanding, sustainable standards, procedures, implementing methods, and more knowledge regarding leadership, health, work-environment, stress and health promoting interventions towards SSE´s is needed. Purpose and method: The aim of the study is to investigate Work Experience (WEMS) and Salutogenic Health (SHIS) changes among leaders and employees in SSEs pre-post intervention. Present study analyzed data from two questionnaires (WEMS, and SHIS) based on established theories regarding work and health. Leaders (N=30) and employees (N=149) from 32 small scale enterprises in the middle part of Norway and Sweden participated. The interventions were carried out by work environment advisers and consisted of meetings including information, advices and tools towards leaders and employees during a one year period. The methodology used to identify any pre-post changes, and changes between groups (ex. Norway-Sweden, leaders-employees) involved SPSS analyses with descriptive statistics, univariate analysis of variance and t-tests. Findings: The analysis revealed no positive significant changes from pre to post intervention for the total Index of SHIS, nor the total Index of WEMS. Some indications of changes however could be detected, were the main tendency was a negative development after intervention. The subindex of WEMS regarding Management (MT) though, yielded a significant effect of mean for leaders compared with employees after intervention. Conclusions: Present interventions towards leaders and employees regarding Work environment and Salutogenic health in SSE`s seems not to be sufficient. More knowledge regarding leadership, work-environment and health are crucial, and even more thorough procedures and testing of interventions in SSE´s needs to be carried out to improve these parameters.


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