201043 Workplace policy and practice: Examining organizational culture and its role in facilitating employee mental health among blue-collar workers

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Shannon Griffin-Blake, PhD , Division of Adult and Community Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Mariela Alarcon-Yohe, MPH , Directors for Health Promotion and Education, Washington, DC
Leandris Liburd, PhD, MPH , Division of Adult and Community Health, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Building on two rounds of a workplace health initiative that examined mental health among blue collar workers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention partnered with the Directors of Health Promotion and Education to conduct a mixed methods investigation with blue collar business owners and supervisors. Representing different sizes and industries of the blue collar sector, six organizations completed both a questionnaire and in-depth interview. This investigation aimed to examine: 1) the role of work structure and environment in creating and sustaining job stress, 2) current workplace norms, policies, and practices that enable or deter job stress and promote employee health, 3) polices and programs employers currently support and undertake to address mental health, and 4) feasibility of implementing this initiative's recommended policies and programs to improve employee health. Employers interviewed in this study were concerned that stress was a problem in their workplaces. They believed stress emerged from multiple sources – at both work and home. However, most of these employers indicated specific aspects within their organizational environment that contributed to employee stress. Though systematic differences in stress levels among their employees were unclear, several employers noted that women handled stress differently compared to men and that the blue-collar employees faced a different set of stressors than white-collar employees. Such differences will be highlighted during this presentation as well as how participating employers are utilizing these findings to develop new policies and programs to promote employee health and address mental health issues within their workplace culture and practices.

Learning Objectives:
Participants will be able to: 1. Describe employers’ perceptions of their role in enabling or deterring job stress and promoting mental health; 2. List at least five aspects from work structure and environment that contribute to employee stress and consequently impact employee health; and 3. Articulate how employers are using this investigation’s findings and recommendations to develop new policies and programs to address mental health issues within their workplace culture and pratices.

Keywords: Workplace Stressors, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I wrote and helped with the implementaiton and evaluation of this blue-collar investigation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.