Caring managers linked to increased motivation at work — study

Caring managers linked to increased motivation at work — study

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Print this page Email A Friend!

In organisations where managers proactively express care for the well-being of workers, stress level is generally low and motivation to work generally high.

This is among the findings of an islandwide study that was conducted between July and October 2019 among 46 organisations across the public and private sectors. Approximately 1,600 employees were surveyed, of which 54.5 per cent were from the private sector, with the remaining 45.5 per cent being public servants.

Speaking at a JIS Think Tank, last Wednesday, medical practitioner Dr Ijah Thompson, who undertook the study jointly with Dr Kenisha Nelson, explained the rationale for and some of the findings and recommendations of the research. He cited a 2016 article by the Huffington Post which indicated that the World Health Organization (WHO) had referred to stress as the health epidemic of the 21st century — a threat to engagement, productivity, retention and looming health care costs.

Dr Thompson added that WHO estimates that depression and anxiety cost the global economy $1.1 trillion each year in lost productivity.

The local study, titled 'Exploratory Evaluation of Stress and Burnout among Jamaican Employees', sought to investigate the Jamaican workers' experience of stress and burnout.
“We wanted to understand the drivers of work stress and to get to understand the levels within individuals, the organisation and our society,” Dr.Thompson said.
He pointed out that the research was undertaken focusing on the situation in Jamaica, following the literature review and the discovery that very little academic work had been done in that area.

“In terms of guidelines, however, we found that the Ministry of Health is in the process of developing a mental health framework,” he noted.

“We pulled together a convenient sample brought together from our partnership with the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce and the Human Resource Association of Jamaica. From that we did an anonymous electronic survey with 360 questions in five parts that was meant to bring together a comprehensive view of what work stress looked like in terms of drivers and outcome,” he further explained.

He pointed out that in the low-stress environments there was generally more care and understanding shown by managers regarding the well-being of staff.

“Between cases of high stress to low stress we found that there was a twofold change in work fulfilment from 33 per cent in high-stress environments to 62 per cent in the low-stress environment,” Dr Thompson noted. He added that happiness at work moved from 21 per cent in the high-stress state to 43 per cent in the low-stress state.
Dr Thompson pointed out that although work stress goes on a continuum, the focus of the study was on high work stress, meaning people who experience stress at least once per week with an intensity of 7/10 or greater.

According to the researcher, who is also a wellness consultant, stress is defined as the negative mental state that is experienced when demands and threats surpass one's ability to deal with them or to satisfactorily cope with them.

The presentation of the study received the award for being the most impactful in the oral presentation category at the Tenth Annual National Health Research Conference which was held in November 2019.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon