Workers who feel an emotional attachment to their jobs are more psychologically healthy, according to a study published in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
The study, carried out by the Danish National Research Centre for the Working Environment, found that efforts to increase ‘affective organisational commitment’ (or AOC) can lead to a happier and healthier workforce, and can reduce employee turnover.
It looked at how AOC affected psychological health in 5,000 Danish workers in homes for the elderly. Affective organisational commitment is defined as ‘the employee’s emotional attachment to, identification with, and involvement in the organisation’.
They found that employees who demonstrated the highest levels of AOC were significantly more likely to be in good psychological health. These employees also had lower absence rates and reported sleeping better.
Previous studies have found that an employee’s emotional attachment to their work is an important motivating factor, and that it can predict the likelihood of sick leave. This study confirms the evidence that AOC is a reliable indicator of an employee’s psychological health.
Dr Thomas Clausen, the study’s lead author, says that strategies aimed at enhancing AOC might help to address the high rates of burnout and turnover among employees in healthcare and hospice services.
Another study in 2011 found that AOC is positively related to self-esteem, intelligence and job performance.