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Associations between culture of health and employee engagement in social enterprises: A cross-sectional study

Patrick Nekula,
Published: 19 January 2021
PLOS ONE , Volume 16; doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0245276

Abstract: Introduction The aging of staff and skill shortage are major challenges for social enterprises. Nurturing a workplace culture of health and fostering employee engagement could be starting points to combat these challenges. The associations between these two factors have received comparatively little attention from the scientific community, in particular with regard to social enterprises. Hence, this study aims to examine those associations, drawing on the job demands-resources theory and the social-ecological workplace culture of health model. It is hypothesized that employees’ self-rated health acts as a mediator in the relationship between culture of health and employee engagement and that health as personal value works as a moderator. Method The study used the Workplace Culture of Health scale to measure culture of health in social enterprises and UWES-9 to assess employee engagement. Data was collected administering a quantitative online survey among employees of social enterprises in Germany. The dataset for analyses comprised N = 172 employees in total. Data analyses included Pearson’s correlations, regression analysis, as well as mediation, moderation and moderated mediation analyses. Results Culture of health is a predictor of employee engagement in social enterprises. The analyses demonstrate a moderate association between culture of health and employee engagement. Indications were found that employees’ self-rated health acts as a mediator and that health as personal value acts as a moderator between culture of health and employee engagement in social enterprises. Discussion This study suggests that fostering a culture of health in social enterprises does not only have a positive effect on employee health, but also on employee engagement. This applies in particular when employees attribute great value to their health, which is to be expected even more in future. Hence, nurturing a culture of health becomes a pivotal management task in social enterprises. Moreover, a comprehensive assessment of the benefits of health promotion programs in social enterprises should not only consider their health-related outcomes, but also factor in their impact on employee engagement.
Keywords: Culture / employment / Behavioral and social aspects of health / Health promotion / jobs / health care policy / Health Systems Strengthening / Health services administration and management

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