Organizational Climate and Employee Mental Health Outcomes -- A Systematic Review of Studies in Health Care Organizations
Health Care Management Review, Volume 40 - Issue 3 - p 254–271
42 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2014 Last revised: 25 Dec 2015
Date Written: 2015
Background: In recent years, the high prevalence of mental health problems among health care workers has given rise to great concern. The academic literature suggests that employees’ perceptions of their work environment can play a role in explaining mental health outcomes.
Purposes: We conducted a systematic review of the literature in order to answer the following two research questions: (1) how does organizational climate relate to mental health outcomes among employees working in health care organizations and (2) which organizational climate dimension is most strongly related to mental health outcomes among employees working in health care organizations.
Methodology/Approach: Four search strategies plus inclusion and quality assessment criteria were applied to identify and select eligible studies. As a result, 21 studies were included in the review. Data were extracted from the studies to create a findings database. The contents of the studies were analyzed and categorized according to common characteristics.
Findings: Perceptions of a good organizational climate were significantly associated with positive employee mental health outcomes such as lower levels of burnout, depression, and anxiety. More specifically, our findings indicate that group relationships between co-workers are very important in explaining the mental health of health care workers. There is also evidence that aspects of leadership and supervision affect mental health outcomes. Relationships between communication, or participation, and mental health outcomes were less clear.
Practical Implications: If health care organizations want to address mental health issues among their staff, our findings suggest that organizations will benefit from incorporating organizational climate factors in their health and safety policies. Stimulating a supportive atmosphere among co-workers and developing relationship-oriented leadership styles would seem to be steps in the right direction.
Keywords: Organizational climate, mental health outcomes, leadership, group relationships, communication, systematic review, health care organizations, occupational health
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