Can the Workplace Be a Social Health Network?
With recent changes to health care and the introduction of the Affordable Care Act, many companies are implementing workplace health programs and initiatives. Although this is a positive step toward facilitating a healthy workforce, it remains to be seen whether simply having programs will result in better health.
In order to measure the success or progress toward achieving total worker health (TWH), organizations need to do more than just tally up the number of worker safety, health, and well-being programs they have in place. Equally important is workers’ perspective of the climate for health that exists within the organization. Social climate has an impact on the decisions (including health decisions) that individuals make as well as the resources that are available to make those decisions. To maximize the impact of workplace health and safety programs, support for initiatives needs to come from three levels: the organization, the supervisors, and fellow workers.
A new tool has been developed for organizations to identify possible shortcomings in any one of these three facets of health climate, the Multifaceted Organizational Heath Climate Assessment (MOHCA) scale. Research findings have shown that strength in all three facets of health climate are associated with improvements in health and well-being outcomes.