Top News 2020

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English Summaries (02-03/2020)

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Marjaana Sianoja, Anne Mäkikangas & Ulla Kinnunen

Recovery from work during workday breaks and free time: Recovery profiles and employee well-being

Our aim was to understand the interplay of recovery from work during workday breaks and free time. We identified latent recovery profiles based on psychological detachment from work and relaxation during workday breaks and free evenings. Additionally, we examined whether people with different recovery profiles differ in background factors, job demands, or occupational well-being. Participants (= 919) were employees working in 12 Finnish organizations. Of the participants, 63 percent were women and the average age was 49 years. The data were analyzed using latent profile analysis in Mplus. Our analysis resulted in four latent recovery profiles: 1) employees who successfully detach from work and relax more often than others, both during workday breaks and free time (= 202); 2) employees who experience high levels of relaxation during breaks and free time but have trouble detaching from work (= 275); 3) employees who recover well during free time but have trouble detaching and relaxing during their workday breaks (= 281); and 4) employees who recover poorly during both breaks and free time (= 161). The recovery profiles were associated with differences in background factors, job demands, and occupational well-being. Employees who recover poorly during breaks and free time experienced more exhaustion and less vigor than others. According to our findings, high levels of detachment and relaxation during workday breaks benefit occupational well-being beyond high levels of detachment and relaxation only during free time.

Keywords: detachment, relaxation, breaks, emotional exhaustion, vigor

Anne Mäkikangas

Validity of job crafting surveys and associations with job-related well-being

The purpose of this study was to investigate the construct validity and interrelationships between two different job crafting surveys, the Job Crafting Questionnaire (JCQ; Slemp & Vella-Brodrick, 2013) and the Job Crafting Scale (JCS; Tims, Bakker & Derks, 2012), and their relationship to job-related well-being assessed via work engagement and person-job fit. The cross-sectional data were collected in spring 2017 as a part of a research project called “Job crafting and Well-being of Managers”. Participants were managers in the towns of Oulu, Kajaani, and Iisalmi, as well as in the Kainuu social and health care joint authority (= 419). The main results of the study showed that the factor structure of both job crafting surveys supported the theoretical assumptions: the JCQ contained three and the JCS four job crafting strategies. The surveys evaluated task crafting in a similar manner, but otherwise the JCQ and JCS were empirically distinct job crafting scales. Both the JCQ and the JCS were more strongly related to work engagement than to person-job fit. There were no obvious differences between the surveys in how they related to these criterion validity variables, except that relational crafting measured by the JCQ was related to person-job fit, whereas increasing social job resources measured by the JCS was not. The study showed that the psychometric properties of Finnish-language job crafting surveys are satisfactory, although the JCS especially needs content development. The main areas for survey development and the content differences between the surveys that guide the selection of the job crafting questionnaire are highlighted in the discussion.

Keywords: job crafting, construct validity, work engagement, person-job fit

Heidi Lahti & Virpi Kalakoski

Process evaluation of complex workplace intervention: Contextual factors related to success of intervention implementation and effectiveness of cognitive ergonomics intervention

Reducing the cognitively straining conditions common at work is important because these conditions are directly associated with the well-being of employees. The aim of our cognitive ergonomics workplace intervention study was to reduce work-related cognitive strain. Thirty-six work units from three organizations participated in the study. By means of process evaluation, we explored the success of intervention implementation in intervention and control groups, and examined whether groups of differing implementation success also differed in terms of work-related variables, and whether, in the intervention group, the success of implementation was associated with effectiveness. The data consisted of the SujuKE-study’s baseline questionnaire answers (= 642), the intervention group’s baseline and end-of-treatment questionnaire answers (= 74), and questionnaire data collected during the intervention (= 390). The units were grouped to reflect low, medium and high success of intervention implementation based on process evaluation. The results indicated a lot of variation in the level of implementation success. The success of implementation was higher in the intervention group. Units with low implementation success differed from other units in terms of contextual variables studied; for example, weekly working hours, time spent in meetings and the number of ongoing projects were higher. The success of implementation also influenced the effectiveness of the intervention. Implementation should be considered when interpreting the results of complex interventions.

Keywords: workplace intervention, complex intervention, process evaluation, knowledge work, cognitive ergonomics

Johanna Rantanen, Anne Mäkikangas, Sauli Puukari & Jussi Silvonen

Occupational well-being profiles among school counsellors and their relation to job demands and resources

During recent years, several reforms and retrenchments have been enacted in the Finnish educational system. Therefore, we wanted to study the current occupational well-being of school counsellors, as well as how they experience their current working conditions. We also studied how well the experiences of school counsellors can be captured using the circumplex model of occupational well-being, which holistically covers both positive and negative dimensions of occupational well-being. We carried out an e-survey for school counsellors in autumn 2017. Latent profile analysis identified three different occupational well-being profiles among the respondents (= 854): satisfied and work engaged (70%), work addicted but exhausted (25%) and work strained and exhausted (5%). These occupational well-being profiles were interconnected with job resources (good manager-subordinate relations and co-worker support, possibility to influence one’s work), job demands (time pressures and insufficient resources for counselling work), as well as with the organization. School counsellors in vocational education belonged more commonly to the work addicted but exhausted and work strained and exhausted profiles than other school counsellors (comprehensive school, high school, polytechnic). They also felt they had fewer job resources, more job demands and more people to counsel. These results, which compare educational organizations, support the view that excessive work intensification by increasing job demands and simultaneously reducing job resources poses a risk to occupational well-being.

Keywords: school counsellors, occupational well-being, job demands, job resources

Kaisa Törnroos, Mervi Ruokolainen & Ulla Kinnunen

Work ability and retirement thoughts among older teachers – The role of perceived age discrimination

It is estimated that 39–44 percent of teachers in Finnish elementary and high schools are over 50 years old (Opetushallitus, 2017). In this study, we investigated how future time perspective at work (i.e., the opportunities and goals seen during the late years of one’s working career) and teacher efficacy (i.e., perceived success as a teacher) are associated with perceived work ability and retirement thoughts, and how perceived age discrimination possibly moderates these associations. In all, 326 Finnish teachers and rectors with teaching obligations aged 55+ filled in the electronic questionnaire in spring 2017. The results of hierarchical regression analyses showed that future time perspective was positively associated with perceived work ability and negatively associated with retirement thoughts. Teacher efficacy was positively associated, and perceived age discrimination negatively associated, only with perceived work ability. Furthermore, perceived age discrimination moderated the association between future time perspective and perceived work ability so that the positive association between future time perspective and perceived work ability was stronger among those teachers who perceived higher age discrimination. It seems that the possibilities and goals perceived during the late career phase support both work ability (especially when ageism is perceived) and longer careers in the form of lower retirement thoughts. Teachers in their late career phase should be supported to widen their future horizon at work and set meaningful goals.

Keywords: teachers, ageing, perceived work ability, retirement thoughts, future time perspective, teacher efficacy, perceived age discrimination

Katja Upadyaya, Visajaani Salonen, Antti Ikonen, Minna Huotilainen & Katariina Salmela-Aro

Occupational well-being profiles, resources, and demands among Finnish school principals

This study examined latent profiles of work burnout and engagement among Finnish school principals. Following the job demands and resources model, the associations between several school principals’ work-specific demands and resources (management duties, demands related to new school curriculum, multiculturality demands, schools’ values, multiculturality richness), and well-being profiles were examined. The participants were 575 (60% female) school principals from across Finland, who filled in an online questionnaire concerning work-related well-being, demands, and resources. The research questions were analyzed using latent profile analysis, which indicated that three well-being profiles could be identified among principals: 46 percent of principals experienced simultaneously high work engagement and low burnout (engaged), 37 percent experienced an average level of burnout and engagement (burnout risk group), and 17 percent experienced simultaneously high burnout and an average level of engagement (burned out). School principals who experienced high demands related to the new curriculum, and who felt that the schools’ values did not match their own values, more often belonged to the burnout risk or burned out group compared to the engaged group. Principals who thought that multiculturality enriched their work more often belonged to the engaged rather than the burnout risk or burned out groups. These results suggested that most (46%) of the school principals reported low levels of job burnout, however, several principals’ work-specific demands (e.g., management duties, demands related to new school curriculum) increased their risk for burnout.

Keywords: job burnout, job engagement, demands and resources, school principals, latent profile analysis