I loved reading Implementation of an Organizational Intervention to Improve Low-Wage Food Service Workers’ Safety, Health and Wellbeing. As someone who has an interest in psychosocial (and physical) risk, and who has years of experience in the bizarro world of corporate dining, I find this study (which I’ve followed since it was first announced) to offer a window into what happens when worlds collide.
Many of us interested in organizational psych or corporate culture may poo-poo trendy behavior change programs, as if our organizational interventions are the panacea. This study reminds us, however, that organizations can be intractable beasts — rife with competing interests, diverse and intense demands, egos, inertia, turnover, and, of course, bureaucracy — not to be trifled with.
Comments from this publication that leave a lasting impression:
- “…fissured work environment, with blurred accountability for worker health and safety.”
- “…communication barriers between organizational units.”
- “…no site manager completed the action planning tool for any of the modules, citing lack of time and job demands as barriers.”
- “’…adding a chair and a mat for the cashier. For aesthetics, the client won’t allow this.'”
- “Research team members… were not invited to attend huddles for the other two modules due to the sites’ time constraints and competing demands…”
- “…challenges of a complex system with various interacting elements… The environment was characterized by low profitability, low wages, high turnover, conflicting demands, and limited potential to modify the workspace.”
A fascinating read with important lessons about the elements of organizational intervention… presented in the context of an eyes-wide-open look at the modern workplace.