Fairness at work can affect employees’ health

Published by  News Archive

On 11th May 2016

Employees’ experiences of fairness at work can impact on their health, according to a new study involving the University of East Anglia.

The researchers investigated whether perceptions of what they call ‘procedural justice’, such as the processes in place to decide on rewards, pay, promotion and assignments, are related to employees’ health.

They found that when perceptions of fairness changed, the self-rated health of employees also changed, for example those who experienced more fairness on average over the period studied reported better health.

The finding suggests that fairness at work is a crucial aspect of the psychosocial work environment and that changes towards greater fairness can improve employees’ health.

It was also found that changes in employees’ health are related to changes in fairness perceptions, indicating that the health status of employees may also affect how employees feel treated at work.

The study, which focused on more than 5800 people working in Sweden, was conducted by Dr Constanze Eib, a lecturer in organisational behavior at UEA’s Norwich Business School, and researchers from Stockholm University. The results are published in the Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health.

Dr Eib said: “Our study provides a thorough examination of how fairness at the workplace and health of employees is related over time. The findings can help raise awareness among employers and authorities that fairness at work but also health is important to consider to increase satisfaction, well-being and productivity in the workplace and wider society.

“It is important to know about these issues as there may be things that can be done to improve perceptions of fairness at work. For example, making sure people feel their views are considered, they are consulted about changes and that decisions are made in an unbiased way.

“People who feel fairly treated are not only more likely to be motivated at work and go the extra mile for their organisation, but they are also more likely to be healthy, have an active lifestyle and feel positive.”

The study used data collected between 2008 and 2014 for the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health, which is conducted every two years and focuses on the associations between work organisation, work environment and health.

Participants were asked to rate their general state of health on a scale from one to five, one being ‘very good’ and five being ‘very poor’.

They were asked about their perception of fairness by saying to what extent they agreed or disagreed with seven statements relating to their organisation’s decision-making processes. These included ‘hear the concerns of all those affected by the decision’, ‘provide opportunities to appeal or challenge the decision’ and ‘all sides affected by the decision are represented’.

‘The influence of procedural justice and change in procedural justice on self-rated health trajectories: Results from the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health’, Constanze Leineweber, Constanze Eib, Paraskevi Peristera, and Claudia Bernhard-Oettel, is published in the Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health.

Latest News

 
A Turtle Dove on a branch
25 Jun 2022

Built infrastructure, hunting and climate change linked to huge migratory bird declines

Migratory birds are declining globally because of the way that humans have modified the landscape over recent decades, UEA research shows.

Read more >
 
An infant taking part in a research project at UEA.
24 Jun 2022

Babies and over 65s needed for UEA psychology research

From the very young to the somewhat older, psychology researchers at UEA are looking for participants to help with two studies.

Read more >
 
Destruction of forest
23 Jun 2022

Loss of nature is pushing nations toward sovereign credit downgrades and ‘bankruptcy’

The world's first biodiversity-adjusted sovereign credit ratings show how ecological destruction affects public finances – driving downgrades, debt crises and...

Read more >
 
Yelena Moskovich, Scarlett Brade, Charlie Higson
22 Jun 2022

Soviet-Ukrainian novelist and Fast Show comedian take centre stage at Noirwich Crime Writing Festival

The ninth Noirwich Crime Writing Festival returns in September, with a special line-up announced today (Wednesday 22 June) featuring an award-winning...

Read more >
Are you searching for something?
 
Yelena Moskovich, Scarlett Brade, Charlie Higson
22 Jun 2022

Soviet-Ukrainian novelist and Fast Show comedian take centre stage at Noirwich Crime Writing Festival

The ninth Noirwich Crime Writing Festival returns in September, with a special line-up announced today (Wednesday 22 June) featuring an award-winning...

Read more >
 
An older woman tries to get to sleep in bed.
22 Jun 2022

How sleep could help stroke patients make a better recovery

Researchers at UEA are launching a new study to see how sleep can help stroke recovery.

Read more >
 
17 Jun 2022

New report highlights the need for investment in NHS staff wellbeing

Poor mental health and wellbeing costs the NHS an estimated £12.1 billion a year, new research suggests.

Read more >
 
Lab research
15 Jun 2022

UEA receives funding boost for research projects

Projects which support early-stage translation of research to real impacts will benefit from new funding awards. 

Read more >
 
John-Mark Philo
15 Jun 2022

Academic awarded prestigious Future Leaders Fellowship

Dr John-Mark Philo, from UEA’s School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing, has been awarded £1.2 million by UK Research and Innovation's Future Leaders...

Read more >
 
An oil painting of the Gloucester as it sank.
10 Jun 2022

Wreck of historic royal ship discovered off the English coast

The wreck of one of the most famous ships of the 17th century has been discovered off the coast of Norfolk in the UK, it can be revealed today.

Read more >