Shift work interventions for reduced work-family conflict
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Purpose - This research aims to investigate the efficacy of family involvement in shift work training targeting both physiological and social coping strategies. Design/methodology/approach - The study utilized repeated surveys of work-family conflict (WFC) and family-work conflict (FWC) in a naturally occurring field experiment. Three small process manufacturing sites introduced training for shift workers, with or without family involvement, and with or without training on managing relational aspects of shift-work. Findings - The inclusion of social coping strategies combined with family involvement significantly reduced work-family conflict. Open response categories on the survey suggest that these reductions were due to the facilitation of a joint problem solving approach by family members. In contrast, employee focused training on physiological coping alone appears to increase family conflicts. Research limitations/implications - As a field study, this paper cannot control for the particularities of family situations. It should also be noted that the participants were all male, and results may have differed for female shift workers given differing family and work expectations. Practical implications - For employers and OSH officers, this research suggests that broader spectrum training may assist shift workers in managing the requirements and impact of unsociable hours of work. For the shift worker, the research reinforces the importance of family support and family involvement in moderating shift work's potentially negative effects. Originality/value - This is the first study to assess the impact of family involvement in training and development-based interventions. This paper provides a unique perspective on shift work interventions by documenting both content and process effects for shift work support.
Human Resources Management