Managers Supporting Mental Health in the Workplace
Past research conducted in this area has shown that significant effect of managers’ behavior, support, or leadership-style on employee mental health. Managers are acknowledged to have a key role in the prevention of work related illness, as they act as a bridge between top management, the employee and occupational health care providers. The current study titled ‘Determinants of Managerial Preventive Actions in Relation to Common Mental Disorders at Work: A Cross-Sectional Study among Swedish Managers’ focused on managerial preventive actions (MPAs) in relation to Common Mental Disorders (CMDs) among employees1. This study was part of the ‘‘Managers’ perspective – the missing piece’’ project, which aims to study attitudes, knowledge, and needs among Swedish managers to support employees with depression and anxiety. Manager characteristics (personal, work-, and competence related) were investigated as determinants of MPAs in relation to CMDs among employees.
An online survey was administered to 2921 Swedish managers to measure diverse managerial characteristics and two types of MPAs: reviewing assignments and work situation (MPA-review); talking about CMDs at the work place (MPA-talk)1. Over the two years before the survey, half the managers had reviewed their workers’ job duties and other factors with the aim of aiding workers’ mental health. Nearly 60% of the managers had discussed mental health with their workers to better understand anxiety and depression1.
Researchers found that 50% of managers reported to review assignments and work situation (MPA-review) and 57% of managers talked about CMDs at the workplace (MPA-talk) with the intention to prevent CMDs among employees1. Moreover, every category of characteristics included one or more determinants of MPAs, expressing the contextual and multidimensional background of these managerial behaviours1. These were reported irrespective of the manager’s level of education, sector, or type of managerial position. Strong statistical effects of gender were found though. Female managers in this study consistently reported to initiate more MPAs than male managers, which is line with other research that found female managers to pertain more importance and confidence to address mental health of employees1.
van de Voort, I., de Rijk, A., Hensing, G., & Bertilsson, M. (2019). Determinants of Managerial Preventive Actions in Relation to Common Mental Disorders at Work: A Cross-Sectional Study Among Swedish Managers. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 10, 854. https://doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0000000000001629