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Workplace health promotion; views from managers of small companies

Wiman, Virginia, Lydell, Marie, Nyholm, Maria

Artikel i tidskrift (Övrigt vetenskapligt)


Background: Workplace health promotion leads to better health, high morale, increased productivity and reduced absenteeism among employees. The role of leadership is vital when creating strategies for workplace health promotion. Small companies (less than 50 employees) have increased need for health promotion, as they often lack knowledge and resources to manage health and safety problems. Moreover, small companies have less access to occupational health service. The aim of this study was to describe how managers at small companies perceive their company as an arena for health promotion. 

Methods: A sample of ten managers (four females) was strategically selected using maximal variation in terms of branch of industry. Semi-structured interviews were conducted. The interviews were transcribed and analyzed using qualitative content analysis. The analysis comprised of both manifest and latent content and triangulation between the authors was used. 

Results: Three main categories emerged from the analysis; sees the workplace as a possible arena, sees the opportunity to promote employees health and sees a need for external support. More in-depth analysis resulted in six subcategories. The latent content of these categories is described by the theme; Health promotion leadership in order to perceive the company as a health promotion arena. A key factor for workplace health promotion was the manager´s view of health promotion as a beneficial factor for the company. Furthermore, the managers expressed that they could promote employees´ health by organizing health promotion activities and promote a positive psychosocial work environment. The findings showed a need for easily accessible external support to assist managers in their work with health promotion. It is essential that the external support contributes with inspiration and knowledge of health promotion activities, for example by highlighting good practice from other small companies. 

Conclusions: Using the manager´s view about the workplace as an arena for promoting health can be a step towards strategies for implementing workplace health promotion. However, for the development of healthy organizations it is necessary to have a comprehensive strategy in which employers, employees and society is pursuing the same goal.

Citera: Wiman, Virginia, Lydell, Marie & Nyholm, Maria, Workplace health promotion; views from managers of small companies, European Journal of Public Health., 22:Suppl. 2, s. 129-129, 2012https://doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/cks115