The Role of Supervisory Support on Workers’ Health and Safety Performance
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The Role of Supervisory Support on Workers’ Health and Safety Performance

Filetype[PDF-344.01 KB]

  • English

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    • Alternative Title:
      Health Commun
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    • Description:
      Leadership is a critical component to an organization's embedded safety culture and influences the ways that health and safety is enacted on site. Empirical research has demonstrated that by improving leadership, safety outcomes are likely to improve as well. Worker perceptions are shaped through leader-employee interactions over time. However, few details are known about social support dimensions (i.e., emotional, informational, and tangible support) offered by supervisors and what kind of impact this communication has on miners' safety culture perceptions and performance. In order to study leadership communication in a high-risk environment, this study utilized pre- and post-interview data collected with 20 managers and 48 workers to identify positive and negative instances of social support and its implications on worker performance. Findings show that emotional support, although helpful in motivating miner compliance and proactivity, was harder to tailor and to be received as intended. Informational support not only had the largest impact on miners' behaviors but was also carried out by miners through support to their coworkers. Finally, tangible support in the form of supervisor assistance had a larger impact on worker behavior than offering incentives or other tangible rewards. By demonstrating the communication offered and desired within these three support dimensions - informational, emotional, and tangible - practitioners can see what is lacking in their organization and whether a shift is needed to balance supportive communication.
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