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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(1), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15010103

A Qualitative Study of HR/OHS Stress Interventions in Australian Universities

1
Asia Pacific Centre for Work, Health and Safety, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia
2
School of Engineering, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia
3
School of Psychology, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia
4
School of Management, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 November 2017 / Revised: 3 January 2018 / Accepted: 3 January 2018 / Published: 9 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Work Stress and the Development of Chronic Diseases)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [307 KB, uploaded 9 January 2018]

Abstract

To enhance the understanding of psychosocial factors and extend research on work stress interventions, we investigated the key human resource (HR)/occupational health and safety (OHS) stress interventions implemented at five Australian universities over a three-year period. Five senior HR Directors completed an online survey to identify the intervention strategies taken at their university in order to reduce stress and enhance employee well-being and morale. We also explored the types of individual-, organization-, and individual/organization-directed interventions that were implemented, and the strategies that were prioritized at each university. Across universities, the dominant interventions were strategies that aimed to balance the social exchange in the work contract between employee-organization with an emphasis on initiatives to: enhance training, career development and promotional opportunities; improve remuneration and recognition practices; and to enhance the fairness of organizational policies and procedures. Strategies to improve work-life balance were also prominent. The interventions implemented were predominantly proactive (primary) strategies focused at the organizational level and aimed at eliminating or reducing or altering work stressors. The findings contribute to the improved management of people at work by identifying university-specific HR/OHS initiatives, specifically leadership development and management skills programs which were identified as priorities at three universities. View Full-Text
Keywords: work stress; stress interventions; universities; well-being; leadership work stress; stress interventions; universities; well-being; leadership
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Pignata, S.; Winefield, A.H.; Boyd, C.M.; Provis, C. A Qualitative Study of HR/OHS Stress Interventions in Australian Universities. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 103.

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