Disability management and organizational culture in Australia and Canada
N Buys, S Wagner, C Randall, H Harder, T Geisen, I I Yu, B Hassler, CHowe
BACKGROUND: Organizational culture has received increasing attention in terms of its influence on workplace health and productivity, yet there has been little research on its relationship with employer-based disability programs.
OBJECTIVE: This study explored the relationship between disability management and organizational culture in Australian and Canadian organizations.
METHODS: Thematic analysis was conducted on data from semi-structured interviews with 16 employees, including injured workers, human resource managers and disability managers in two Australian and two Canadian large organizations.
RESULTS:Seven themes were identified: 1. Consistency between espoused beliefs and artifacts in organization; 2. Genuineness of interest in well-being of injured worker; 3. Level of ongoing support of worker following injury; 4. Communication with injured workers; 5. Level of support from supervisors and co-workers; 6. Promptness in claims processing and covering medical costs and; 7. Focus on wellness and injury prevention. It was found that organizational culture may impact the delivery and perceived value of employer-based disability management programs.
CONCLUSIONS: Given the potential relationship between organizational culture and disability management, employers should facilitate a positive workplace culture by ensuring consistency among underlying values, espoused values and actual treatment of employees, including injured workers.