Intervention Protocol

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Human resource management training of supervisors for improving health and well-being of employees

  1. Andreas Kuehnl1,2,*,
  2. Eva Rehfuess3,
  3. Erik von Elm4,
  4. Dennis Nowak2,
  5. Jürgen Glaser1

Editorial Group: Cochrane Work Group

Published Online: 8 JAN 2014

DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD010905

How to Cite

Kuehnl A, Rehfuess E, von Elm E, Nowak D, Glaser J. Human resource management training of supervisors for improving health and well-being of employees (Protocol). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2014, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD010905. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD010905.

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Innsbruck, Institute of Psychology, Department for Applied Psychology, Innsbruck, Austria

  2. 2

    University of Munich, Institute and Outpatient Clinic for Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine, Munich, Germany

  3. 3

    Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Institute for Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology, Munich, Germany

  4. 4

    Lausanne University Hospital, Cochrane Switzerland, Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, Lausanne, Switzerland

*Andreas Kuehnl, Institute of Psychology, Department for Applied Psychology, University of Innsbruck, Maximilianstrasse 2, Innsbruck, A-6020, Austria.

Publication History

  1. Publication Status: New
  2. Published Online: 8 JAN 2014


Table 1. Classification of Interventions

Training off-the-joba

— Self-help activities (textbook-based, video-based, web-based)

— Formal training (face-to-face lecture, classroom lecture), case analysis and discussion— Simulations— Role playing — Behavioural role modelling — Developmental assessment centres
Training on-the-joba, (real time/things/situations)

— Executive Coaching — Mentoring — (360°) Feedback — Job rotations — Action learning

Supervisor-Employee Interaction

— Communication (e.g. active listening, clear instructions, role clarity, clear and ethical organisational and personal goals, etc.)

— Justice (interactional)

— Recognition and immaterial reward (appreciation, respect, etc.)

— Supervisory support (emotional)

— Leadership style
(A1) e.g. web-based teaching of how to improve active listening, role-playing simulation for improving active listening skills(A2) e.g. personal coaching concerning active listening while working

Design of working environmentb

— Participation

— Justice (procedural and distributive, including material reward)

— Autonomy (e.g. working time/schedule)

— Decision latitude and control

— Supervisory support (instrumental)
(B1) e.g. classroom lecture for improving knowledge on positive health effect of participative leadership, case-analysis simulation for improving participative leadership behavior(B2) e.g. 360°-feedback session for assessing and improving the leaders participative leadership behavior

 (a) For example, combined interventions containing both, an introduction to active listening skills using a video-based lecture (A1) followed by personal coaching sessions (A2) will be classified as A2. For another example, a short video-based introduction on active listening (A1) followed by an considerably longer role playing session on participative leadership (B1) will be classified as B1.
(b) Only included if these conditions could (and should) be influenced directly by the targeted supervisor.
Table 2. Work-related stressors and resources

Work-related stressorsWork-related resources

  • Bullying, harassment and violence
  • Emotionally distressing human services work
  • Ethical conflicts (e.g. illegitimate task assignments, carrying out task conflicting with personal values)
  • High demand and low control
  • Imbalance between effort and reward
  • Injustice and unfairness
  • Lack of autonomy and poor decision-making latitude
  • Lack of participation
  • Lack of respect and recognition
  • Monotony
  • Organisational change, job insecurity
  • Poor communication and information
  • Poor prospects for career or personal development
  • Poor social relationships (low social support, lack of role clarity, poor leadership, adverse social behaviour)
  • Time pressure
  • Unclear or ambiguous instructions and role, unclear organisational and personal goals
  • Autonomy and decision latitude of employee
  • Good supervisor-employee relationship
  • Holistic assignments/tasks
  • Information/transparency
  • Organisational justice
  • Participation
  • Possibility of personal growth and development, career perspective
  • Respect and recognition
  • Social support (emotional, instrumental)

 The list is neither exhaustive nor does it make any claims about completeness. Some factors can be both, a work-related stressor and a resource depending on whether they are present/pronounced or absent/less pronounced (Cropanzano 2005; Eurofound 2010; Houtman 2007; Kals 2012; Lohmann-Haislah 2012; Semmer 2010; Stadler 2003; WHO 2013; WHO Regional Office for Europe 2010).