RESEARCH SUMMARY: What protects employees who are mentally ill at work?

Original article: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0102514

What was the study about?

The authors ranked 19 different factors that help or hinder whether employees will experience a mental health issue at work


What did they find?

The top factors that helped were support from an immediate supervisor, fair leadership and something called “positive challenge” which is whether employees spoke about work being useful or meaningful or if work was challenging in a positive way.

 

The top factors that hindered were role conflict, which is stress about the demands (especially conflicting demands or demands perceived as extreme) placed on an employee and the resources they have to do it as whether or not an employee as observed bullying or experienced bullying.

 

What does this crazy table mean?

These are the full rankings. Higher numbers means that’s a bad factor and lower numbers means good.

Here is what the factors mean:

Quantitative demands (i.e. time pressure and amount of work), decision demands (i.e. demands for decision-making and attention), decision control(i.e. influence on decisions regarding work tasks, choice of coworkers, and contacts with clients), control over work intensity (i.e. influence on time, pace, and breaks), role conflict (i.e. conflicts between demands and resources, conflicting requests), role clarity (i.e. clarity of goals and objectives at work), support from immediate superior (i.e. instrumental and emotional support, and appreciation), empowering leadership (i.e. encouragement for participation in important decisions and expressing differing opinions, development of skills), fair leadership(i.e. distribute work fairly and treat workers fairly and equally), predictability during the next month (i.e. predictability of tasks, coworkers, and superiors), predictability during the next two years (i.e. predictability of job security and learning demands), commitment to organization (i.e. positive feelings and attitudes towards the workplace), social climate (i.e. whether the social climate is encouraging/supportive, distrustful/suspicious, relaxed/comfortable), positive challenge at work (i.e. usefulness of skills and knowledge, meaningfulness of work, and if work is challenging in a positive way), and human resource primacy (i.e. organizational practices pertaining to rewarding workers for well-done jobs, taking good care of workers, the interest of management in the health and well-being of workers).