Improving the Psychosocial Work Environment at Multi-Ethnic Workplaces: A Multi-Component Intervention Strategy in the Cleaning Industry

Article, Other literature type English OPEN
Smith, Louise Hardman ; Hviid, Kirsten ; Frydendall, Karen Bo ; Flyvholm, Mari-Ann (2013)
  • Publisher: MDPI
  • Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, volume 10, issue 10, pages 4,996-5,010 (issn: 1661-7827, eissn: 1660-4601)
  • Related identifiers: pmc: PMC3823315, doi: 10.3390/ijerph10104996
  • Subject: cleaning | psychosocial work environment | R | intervention; psychosocial work environment; multi-ethnic workplace; cleaning | multi-ethnic workplace | Samhällsvetenskap | Social Sciences | Medicine | intervention | Article

Global labour migration has increased in recent years and immigrant workers are often recruited into low status and low paid jobs such as cleaning. Research in a Danish context shows that immigrants working in the cleaning industry often form social networks based on shared languages and backgrounds, and that conflict between different ethnic groups may occur. This paper evaluates the impact of a multi-component intervention on the psychosocial work environment at a multi-ethnic Danish workplace in the cleaning sector. The intervention included Danish lessons, vocational training courses, and activities to improve collaboration across different groups of cleaners. Interviews about the outcome of the intervention were conducted with the cleaners and their supervisor. The Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire was used as a supplement to the interviews. The results suggest that the psychosocial work environment had improved after the intervention. According to the interviews with the cleaners, the intervention had led to improved communication, trust, and collaboration. These findings are supported by the questionnaire where social support from supervisor and colleagues, social community, trust, and teamwork seem to have improved together with meaning of work, rewards, and emotional demands. The design of the intervention may provide inspiration for future psychosocial work environment interventions at multi-ethnic work places.
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