The majority of working Americans are living with one or more chronic health conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, or depression. One program that helps individuals manage their condition(s) is the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP), which has led to positive outcomes. However, the CDSMP is unfortunately not fully accessible for full-time employees, due to factors such as lengthy sessions and limited locations.
To address these barriers, the CDSMP has been adapted into the employee-friendly Live Healthy, Work Healthy (LHWH) program. Recent research has shown LHWH to be associated with positive health and well-being, but it is important to examine if there are also work-related outcomes for employees who participate in the program.
WORKPLACE OUTCOMES OF THE LIVE HEALTHY, WORK HEALTHY PROGRAM
Researchers (Haynes et al., 2021) examined the effectiveness of the LHWH program on workplace outcomes using a sample of employees from various organizations. Participants were either assigned to the intervention group (who received the program immediately) or the delayed control group (who received the program following a 6-month control period). Data were collected via multiple surveys, with 6 months in between each survey.
Findings from the study reveal that providing the LHWH program to employees led to numerous positive work-related outcomes for participants, including a decrease in burnout and increases in perceived organizational support, work engagement, work ability, organizational commitment, and organizational citizenship behavior (i.e. going “above and beyond”).
The increases in perceived organizational support during the intervention led to other desirable changes that happened concurrently (changes to job stress, burnout, job satisfaction, work ability, organizational commitment, deviant behaviors, and turnover intention). In addition, the increases in perceived organizational support led to desirable changes that happened in the subsequent 6 months after the intervention (changes to burnout, job satisfaction, work ability, and turnover intention).
Importantly, the researchers also found that changes in perceived organizational support (as well as changes in some other downstream outcomes) were further increased when workplaces chose to offer the LHWH program on work time.
PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS FOR ORGANIZATIONS
Taken together, the results of this study show that providing the LHWH program for employees living with chronic health conditions has a beneficial impact on numerous organizationally-relevant outcomes. Several of these positive effects may be amplified when employers offer the program on work time, instead of asking employees to complete it on their free time.
Haynes, N. J., Vandenberg, R. J., Wilson, M. G., DeJoy, D. M., Padilla, H. M., & Smith, M. L. (2021). Evaluating the impact of the live healthy, work healthy program on organizational outcomes: A randomized field experiment. Journal of Applied Psychology. Advance online publication.