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The Effectiveness of Workplace Health Promotion Programme in Improving Sickness Absenteeism, Medical Cost Claims and Work Engagement Among Manufacturing Workers in Malaysia: A Randomised Control Trial

Ahmad Fairuz Mohamed, Marzuki Isahak, Mohd Zaki Awg Isa and Rusli Nordin

Pertanika Journal of Science & Technology, Volume 30, Issue 3, July 2022

DOI: https://doi.org/10.47836/pjst.30.3.27

Keywords: Employee assistance programme, medical cost claims, sickness absenteeism, work engagement, workplace health promotion programme

Published on: 25 May 2022

Job-related stress at the workplace has a tremendous effect on employees’ work performance. This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of the Workplace Health Promotion (WHP) programme on employee sickness absenteeism, medical cost claims and work engagement among blue-collar manufacturing workers in Malaysia. The WHP intervention comprised organisational and individual stress management programmes delivered through the Occupational Stress Management Course and Employee Assistance Programme. Data on sickness absenteeism and medical cost claims were gathered from the records of the Human Resource Department. In addition, work engagement data were collected through the Malay Validated Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES). Eighty-eight employees participated in the study. Most employees worked 45 hours a week, with more than 80% working overtime and shifts. Pre-intervention sickness absenteeism among manufacturing workers varied from 0.98 to 2.57 days. At baseline, medical cost claims ranged from RM92 to RM196 for three months and RM127 to RM359 for six months. After six months of participation in the WHP programme, sickness absenteeism was significantly reduced (d = 0.414) and work engagement was significantly enhanced (d = 1.958) in the intervention group. Medical cost claims, on the other hand, increased significantly post-intervention (d = 0.039). These findings are intended to help organisations and government bodies in recognising the potential of WHP to enhance employee work engagement and reduce sickness absenteeism to improve work organisation and personal development.

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