Employees working with developmentally disabled persons: Good leadership and professional development promotes work ability

Employees working with developmentally disabled persons: Good leadership and professional development promotes work ability

Scientific article in Fysioterapeuten 8/2013.

Abstract

Bengt Fjeldbraaten, fysioterapeut, helsefremmende rådgiver og master i helsefremmende arbeid, Lillehammer kommune. Institutt for helsefremmende arbeid, Høgskolen i Vestfold (krediteringssted). Epost: Bengt.fjeldbraaten@lillehammer.kommune.no

Steffen Torp, fysioterapeut og professor, Institutt for helsefremmende arbeid, Høgskolen i Vestfold. 

Abstract

Purpose: To investigate what work environment factors increase work ability among health- and social workers.

Material: The study was performed among eight employees working in a home for developmentally disabled persons.

Methods: Qualitative data were collected by use of a two-step focus group interview. The data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis.

Results: Two key categories emerged from the analysis as important for high work ability: a clear and committed leadership and a strong focus on professional development. Professional development of staff seem to lead to high work ability through the creation of a good organizational culture based on confidence, trust, openness, participation and power leveling.

Conclusion: In addition to being important for high quality care for developmentally disabled persons, good management and professional development is also crucial for employee’s work ability and health, and should therefore be regarded as an important part of enterprises’ health and safety work.

Key words: Work ability, sick leave, management, professional development, mentally disabled persons, disability.  

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