In this study, the authors addressed whether, and to what extent, different capacity management strategies (CMS) can produce significant effects on well-being of employees (WBE) by influencing job hazard and employees’ sense of fatigue, with a particular focus on frontline employees in healthcare organizations, such as nursing home (NH) environments. The authors set out to test how CMS can drive employees’ perceived sense of fatigue and job hazard, which affects employees’ job satisfaction and well-being; and noting that with job satisfaction, which mediates between job hazard and fatigue, on the one hand, and WBE on the other.
Who conducted the study?
Antonio Sebastiano, Osservatorio Settoriale sulle RSA, CREMS, LIUC Universita Cattaneo, Castellanza, VA, Italy; Valeria Belvedere, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Department of Economics and Business Management Sciences, Milano, Italy; Alberto Grando, SDA Bocconi School of Management, Universita L. Bocconi, Milano, Italy; and Antonio Giangreco, IESEG School of Management (LEM CNRS, UMR 9221), Lille, France.
What did they find?
Findings from the study are, as follows:
- CMS, which determine a higher number of working hours and/or a tougher employee work schedule, produce a negative effect on job hazard and fatigue;
- Job satisfaction and fatigue were statistically significant predictors of employees’ well-being, in such a manner that individuals who believe their degree of fatigue is appropriate will enjoy a higher level of well-being, and that the more individuals feel job satisfaction, the higher they will experience a sense of well-being;
- Although the coefficient of determination was low, yet statistically significant, job satisfaction is driven by fatigue and job hazard, in such a manner that individuals who believe that their job has an appropriate level of job hazard will enjoy a higher level of job satisfaction;
- Employees who did shift work perceived their conditions to be riskier and tougher;
- Full-time employees coped with a higher perceived job hazard and fatigue than part-time employees;
- Employees who worked more overtime perceived their job as riskier;
- Employees with more overtime hours, or participated in shift work, reported a decrease in well-being;
- Type of contract is a significant driver for fatigue, indicating employees preferred flexible contracts;
- Employees (including part-time) enjoyed a higher level of well-being if their contracts were flexible;
- Strong employee preference for tasks that require a lower number of working hours (though involves contracts that are less stable);
- Considering employees in the mid-adult age range, the issue of WBE is more critical, yet less relevant for younger and older employees; and
- Gender affected employees’ overall well-being; female employees reporting better WBE levels than male employees.
How did they find these results?
Data were collected from 42 NHs associated with the Nursing Homes Observatory of the Universita Carlo Cattaneo – LIUC (Italy). Questionnaires were collected between June and July 2009. 2158 valid questionnaires were returned with a response rate of approximately 50%; questionnaires were handed out indirectly with the help of the management of each NH.
Professional respondents: 57.7% aid nurses, 10.9% nurses, 5.4% rehabilitation technicians, 10% people in administration & general services, 4.3% doctors, 3.7% social animators, 5.4% service support, 0.6% service coordinators, 1.1% managers, and 0.9% other professionals including doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, technicians, social workers, nurses’ aides, clerks, and managers.
Why are these findings important?
The authors contributed to the dialogue around capacity management and human resource management in the healthcare sector, demonstrating that organizations that require a flexible production capacity would benefit by hiring temporary, flexible, or part-time employees, and should then reconsider asking their full-time employees to work overtime or shifts. Additionally keeping in mind that organizations in the long-term healthcare sector are highly exposed to the risk of human errors.
Where can these results be applied?
Not only can the results be applied to nursing homes but also to several types of healthcare organizations, including hospitals, medical centers and clinics, rehabilitation treatment centers, residential treatment programs and other healthcare facilities where there is an importance to “manage capacity to improve care.” These exact words are taken from the webpage of Cincinnati Children’s, a community hospital that grew into a medical center, transitioning into providing varied levels of care.
As their services evolved, so did their thinking: “We came to realize that capacity management was the key to predicting and planning for a broad set of current and future needs, and that it would allow us to use resources to maximum efficiency, improve outcomes and deliver care at a better value.”
Managing Capacity to Improve Care . (April 21, 2017). Retrieved from https://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/service/j/anderson-center/capacity-management
Sebastiano, A., Belvedere, V., Grando, A., & Giangreco, A. (2016). The effect of capacity management strategies on employees’ well-being: A quantitative investigation into the long-term healthcare industry. European Management Journal.