Could our jobs be killing us?
Leaders could be contributing to heart disease in their employees!
A study by Hans Bosma, Ph.D., Richard Peter, Ph.D., Johannes Siegrist, Ph.D. and Michael Marmot FFPHM in the American Journal of Public Health connected the psychosocial hazards of work and an increase in heart disease.
Leaders, if you’re not part of the solution, you could be part of the problem!
What did the study find?
In this study they compared multiple aspects of a job and found that low job control will have negative health effects on employees making them over two times as likely to develop heart disease!
What is Low Job Control?
Low job control – employees with leaders who do not allow them to contribute to solving the problems they face everyday or have no hope for advancement (promotions or growth) are 2.15 times as likely to develop heart disease.
If a leader is ALWAYS saying, “No.” to employee ideas or feedback, or never providing opportunities for growth, they are highly increasing the likelihood of their employees developing heart disease.
What’s also interesting in the study is that workload doesn’t have a negative effect on employees. It turns out that we can have a ton of work to do but if we’re in an environment of kindness, it won’t have negative consequences. If leaders listen and help employees grow, they will help employees to combat heart disease!
Plus, employees will actually have a positive reaction to taking on more challenges and workload.
What Leader Wants To Admit They Are Treating Employees Poorly?
Could leaders agree that low job control is bad for employees but still miss that it is happening within their organization?
Unfortunately, yes. This study uncovered that employees self-report low job control 2.38 times more and external assessments reveal that low job control is reported 1.56 times more than leaders report it is happening in their own organizations.
In order to be effective, leaders need to carefully examine their company culture and work hard to be sure they are listening to employees and providing ample opportunity for employee growth.
Wise leaders combat low job control by carefully considering the problems their employees encounter and respectfully weighing the solution suggestions of their employees.
It seems like common sense to accept and carefully consider the solutions suggested by the people who encounter the problems daily but, unfortunately, that is not the way it always goes.
Which is why we need more leaders to stand up and treat their employees with kindness. The physical health of their employees is in their hands. They can either be contributing to the risk or they can be part of the healing process.
Build and grow a culture where leaders listen to their employees and help them grow.
The good news is you can start fighting back against heart disease in the workplace today!! We all have people around us that we can be kind to. Listen well, carefully consider their ideas, and give them the opportunity to grow!
(From the study: “the imbalance between personal efforts (competitiveness, work-related overcommitment, and hostility) and rewards (poor promotion prospects and a blocked career) was associated with 2.15 times higher risk of new coronary heart disease. Job strain and high job demands were not related to coronary heart disease; however, low job control was strongly associated with a new disease. The odds ratios for low job control were 2.38 times and 1.56 times more likely for self-reported and externally assessed job control, respectively.” https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.88.1.68)