The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) developed the concept and measure called ‘Stress management competency indicator tool’ of management competencies to prevent and reduce stress at work, and has shown some beneficial effect of training managers for these competencies (Yarker, et al, 2008). The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of a training program for managers developed based on the concept and measure on work engagement of their subordinate workers in Japan.Methods
The study sample was all managers and employees of a financial enterprise in Japan. The study design was a single-group pre-and post-test study. We developed a one-session 150 min workshop-based training program based on the HSE management competencies framework, including lectures, group works, and homework. Work engagement of subordinate workers was measured at baseline and 1 year follow-up by the short version of new Brief Job Stress Questionnaire (BJSQ). Improvement of 12 areas of sub-competencies among managers was also assessed by using the HSE competency indicator tool.Results
94 managers (92 men and 2 women) and 1187 subordinate workers (590 men and 597 women) participated in the study. The scores of work engagement did not increase significantly from baseline to 1 year follow-up among subordinate workers as a whole, with a small effect size (Cohen’s d=0.05). However, multilevel analyses revealed that improvements of 6 sub-competency areas of managers was significantly associated with increase in work engagement of subordinate workers, particularly for the integrity (γ=0.05, p=0.03 for the crude analysis; γ=0.05, p=0.03 after adjusting for the covariates).Conclusion
The training program for managers failed to show its effect on improving work engagement of subordinate workers, possibly because of the low intensity of the program. However, it is suggested that the integrity might be a key management competency to improve work engagement of subordinate workers.