Identifying management practices that drive production-line workers’ engagement through qualitative analysis
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Introduction: Engagement research - most often defined by a worker’s psychological state of vigor, dedication, and absorption - pays little attention to production-line workers. This study therefore explores factors that drive workers’ engagement with health and safety (H&S) in a production-line context as well as their perception of managerial influence Furthermore, the study adds to the body of research by exploring H&S engagement concepts through the use of qualitative research methods. Method: 38 semi-structured interviews were conducted and analyzed through template analysis to identify themes that promote and hinder engagement. Results: The main engagement drivers were found to be: (a) the displayed safety focus of the company in organizational and social aspects; (b) the quality of the communication approach with respect to quality, consistency and direction; and (c) the environment encompassing the relationship between workers and supervisors and peers as well as the psychological environment. Notably, a trusting relationship between supervisors and workers appeared to be the most influential driver in determining engaged H&S behavior. Discussion and impact in industry: The study highlights factors that could be adapted to improve engagement and consequently enhance H&S approaches. Originality: The study reported in this paper offers a unique insight into individual production workers’ perceived drivers of H&S engagement using Qualitative Analysis. Practical applications: The study identified the important role that supervisors play in workers’ H&S engagement levels and what skills they need to employ to enhance workers’ engagement in general and in the context of H&S behavior and performance. Furthermore, the importance of psychological and sociological factors in safety approaches are highlighted and were found to be key for creating safer workplaces.
Journal of Safety Research;
Homann, F., Limbert, C., Matthews, S., Castaldi, D. and Sykes, P. (2021) 'Identifying management practices that drive production-line workers’ engagement through qualitative analysis', Journal of Safety Research. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsr.2021.02.006
Article published in Journal of Safety Research available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsr.2021.02.006
Cardiff Metropolitan University (Grant ID: Cardiff Metropolian (Internal))
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