Total Worker Health: A Small Business Leader Perspective
2. Materials and Methods
“We tied it to an incentive program. So we pay out incentives three times a year… we are one of the few remaining family-owned businesses that still pay full benefits for our 30 management team members and their entire family…if someone can’t participate in one of the platforms that we choose and they can’t take and invest that time for themselves and go get a health assessment and be active, that maybe they don’t get an incentive”.
“For participating in a lot of these activities, just by signing up to do yoga or signing up to give blood, we do random drawings for gift cards… After the event, we publicize how many people participated and who got the gift card”.
“We also conduct monthly safety meetings in the field and all of the employees in the field attend. We do keep attendance at it and we’ve begun to integrate a variety of things. [There is an] enhanced level awareness and knowledge base at those meetings”.
“Through our benefits program…once a year or twice a year we have the third party come in and do the health assessments where they do the blood pressure, cholesterol levels and readings and it’s interesting because you can see the history through the years…it’s just interesting just to see how that changes throughout a period of time”.
“We started to, about a year and a half ago, provide some of our more management level positions and some of our full-time employees with health insurance”.
“We definitely separate health and safety. When we think about safety, we think about workplace accidents only. We don’t connect the two, so I think one of the future things I would like to do is find an overlap of them”.
“Then we have a newsletter that goes out to all of our employees and again, there is something in there about safety, something in there about your health and other things”.
“Information that we get through the near-miss program can also show us what employees are looking for and what they’re needing and just kind of assessing that and prioritizing that and seeing if there’s something that we can do about it”.
“You can’t expect people to pull away from their desks and come participate in something if it’s not important enough for you to do it yourself”.
“I hope that my actions positively affect the behaviors of my employees…if I come into the office in a bad mood, others are also in a bad mood. If I come into the office psyched and engaged, others are psyched and engaged. As a leader, I get that people mirror and model my behavior”.
“One thing that I tried to do over the years able to listen to my coworkers and just, you know be willing to hear them and how they’re doing and be able to help in any way that I can”.
“…we have an open-door policy… if you’re struggling whether or not it’s work-related or outside of work… you know we are here for you. We get life…we [upper management] tried to take our own personal experiences and reach out with regards to how we can involve our employees”.
“But there are tremendous opportunities when you do connect with someone… they know you understand what they’re doing and that you have their best interest in mind. You can make a really meaningful change by simply helping someone do something the right way so they don’t get hurt, or helping them achieve a professional development goal that they’ve always wanted to do, whether it’s a training, or a certification…”
“And another thing I’d add is that I truly care about the well-being of the people that I work with and that are my co-workers. From a human perspective, it just matters to me that they feel as good as they can”.
“I think it’s important from a personal perspective not only for ourselves, but also for our employees and that they conduct themselves in a safe manner so that they return to their families safely and be healthy and be able to provide for their families”.
“First and foremost, it’s building a trust level”.
“We have an advantage because we are small, and I think it’s critical in a small business environment that you need to develop a structure that tunes it for each individual employee”.
“I think that I have so many people that want to work with us and with me, and with my partners just because they see us doing what we’re doing”.
“The reality is that everyone is juggling things like having a family, getting their work done…having a hard time finding time to fit it exercise or gardening or all of the great stuff that we’d do if we only worked 30-h weeks”.
“It matters from an employee perspective obviously because we have got a small workforce… We wear a lot of different hats”.
“Our employee base is mostly Latino based and in most cases there is a difference of cultures between their originating country and here in the United States”.
“…people can bring their families and their pets”.
“I think it’s important to involve employees in that decision-making process and development of programs”.
“So we take somebody who is extremely knowledgeable and skilled and they have to oversee someone actually executing on a procedure before they sign off that they are competent to do that”.
“We just try to leave it up to the individual to make their own decisions about what they are comfortable with”.
4.1. Future Research
Conflicts of Interest
Appendix A. Small Business Leader Interview Questions
Appendix A.1. Organizational Mission and Vision
- Why does health, safety, and well-being matter to you? For both your own health, safety, and well-being but also for your employees. How did you come to this understanding?
- What does employee health, safety, and well-being look like today in your organization?
- Now that we’ve talked about what employee health, safety, and well-being looks like today, how do you determine what the future of employee health, safety, and well-being looks like in your organization?
Appendix A.2. Organizational Culture
- Every organization has its own unique culture of health and safety that develops over time based on what’s said and what’s done. What does your organization do to set the culture for healthy work? How do you involve employees?
- Do you find it challenging, or difficult to engage your employees around health, safety, and wellness?—How do you approach this?
Appendix A.3. Lead Yourself
- How do you lead by example in your organization when it comes to health, safety, and well-being?
- How do you think your actions affect the behaviors of employees? Can you provide an example?
- How do you go about identifying opportunities for supporting the values and goals of your employees?
- Can you describe the opportunities and challenges you have experienced when initiating changes to improve employee health, safety and well-being?
Appendix A.4. Feedback and Recognition
- What methods do you use to hold yourself and your employees accountable for sustaining good health, safety and wellness practices?
- What are some ways that you recognize your employees for prioritizing health, safety, and wellness? For example, do you use rewards, praise, celebrate?
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|Parent Code||Child Code||Description||Percent of Total Parent Code|
|Business||Health and safety programs||Program in general or specific program components, such as incentives, biometrics or training||38%|
|Organizational barriers||Business barriers that hinder success of health and safety program, such as multi-site work environments||10%|
|Employee feedback||Systematic efforts to collect employee feedback on the health and safety program, such as during an annual review||9%|
|Health communication||Communicating the importance of health in general and the health and safety program specifically via different channels, such as email||9%|
|Program evaluation||Efforts to evaluate their health and safety program and adjust as needed, such as tracking flu shot uptake during a campaign to get employees to take their flu shot||7%|
|Self||Lead by example||Talking and acting in ways that are consistent with their health and safety program, such as modeling good work/life balance||25%|
|Individual consideration||Efforts to personally attend to individual employee’s needs, such as regular one-on-one check-ins||20%|
|Helpful strategies||Mention of a specific thing they say or do that they have found to be particularly helpful||12%|
|Outcome||Perceived outcome of personally being involved in the health and safety programs, such as a better relationship with their employees||8%|
|Health value||Personal value for health, safety, and well-being||6%|
|Employee||Employee barrier||Employee-specific barriers that hinder success of health and safety program, such as employees already having too much to do||26%|
|Family||Recognition that employees have a family outside of work, family participation in health and safety program, or employees taking health and safety program home to their family||20%|
|Employee leadership||Ways in which employees demonstrate leadership in the health and safety program, such as employees identifying hazards and working to control them||17%|
|Program participation||Mention of a percent engagement in the health and safety program or ways in which employees participate||15%|
|Personal accountability||Employees needing to take care of themselves and leaving health decisions ultimately up to the employee||6%|
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Thompson, J.; Schwatka, N.V.; Tenney, L.; Newman, L.S. Total Worker Health: A Small Business Leader Perspective. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 2416. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112416
Thompson J, Schwatka NV, Tenney L, Newman LS. Total Worker Health: A Small Business Leader Perspective. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2018; 15(11):2416. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112416Chicago/Turabian Style
Thompson, Janalee, Natalie V. Schwatka, Liliana Tenney, and Lee S. Newman. 2018. "Total Worker Health: A Small Business Leader Perspective" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 15, no. 11: 2416. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112416