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Saf Health Work. 2013 Sep;4(3):166-76. doi: 10.1016/j.shaw.2013.07.001. Epub 2013 Aug 2.

A training intervention for supervisors to support a work-life policy implementation.

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1
Center for Research on Occupational and Environmental Toxicology, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Effective policy implementation is essential for a healthy workplace. The Ryan-Kossek 2008 model for work-life policy adoption suggests that supervisors as gatekeepers between employer and employee need to know how to support and communicate benefit regulations. This article describes a workplace intervention on a national employee benefit, Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and evaluates the effectiveness of the intervention on supervisor knowledge, awareness, and experience with FMLA.

METHODS:

The intervention consisted of computer-based training (CBT) and a survey measuring awareness and experience with FMLA. The training was administered to 793 county government supervisors in the state of Oregon, USA.

RESULTS:

More than 35% of supervisors reported no previous training on FMLA and the training pre-test revealed a lack of knowledge regarding benefit coverage and employer responsibilities. The CBT achieved: (1) a significant learning effect and large effect size of d = 2.0, (2) a positive reaction to the training and its design, and (3) evidence of increased knowledge and awareness regarding FMLA.

CONCLUSION:

CBT is an effective strategy to increase supervisors' knowledge and awareness to support policy implementation. The lack of supervisor training and knowledge of an important but complex employee benefit exposes a serious impediment to effective policy implementation and may lead to negative outcomes for the organization and the employee, supporting the Ryan-Kossek model. The results further demonstrate that long-time employees need supplementary training on complex workplace policies such as FMLA.

KEYWORDS:

benefit; evaluation; intervention; policy; training

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