Returning employees back to work: developing a measure for supervisors to support return to work (SSRW)

Authors: Munir, F., Yarker, J., Hicks, B. and Donaldson-Feilder, E.

Journal: Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation

Volume: 22

Issue: 2

Pages: 196-208

ISSN: 1573-3688

DOI: 10.1007/s10926-011-9331-3

Abstract Introduction: Evidence suggests that line manager behaviours have a strong influence on employees’ health and well-being outcomes. Few have examined the specific behaviours associated with managing an employee back to work following long-term sick leave. This study describes the development of a line manager return-to-work behaviour measure using qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Methods: Qualitative data were collected between 2008-2010 from a UK population of organisational stakeholders (N=142), line managers (N=20) and employees (N=26). Data from these samples were used to develop a 42 item questionnaire and to validate it using a further sample of line managers (N=186) and employees (N=359).

Results: Based on a factor structure and reliability results, four scales emerged. The measure demonstrated good internal reliability, construct and concurrent validity. Longitudinal data analyses demonstrated test-retest reliability and promising predictive validity.

Conclusions: This is a potentially valuable tool in research and in organisational settings, both during long-term sick leave and after employees have returned to work.

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