Exploring wellness programming awareness, usage, and perceived leadership support among community college employees
Swan, Toni A.
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Unhealthy behaviors that many U.S. workers have adopted, such as physical inactivity, poor diet, and stressful lifestyles, have increased health risks and diminished quality of life. With over 140 million employed people spending close to a quarter of their waking lives at work, the workplace is an opportune setting to support employees and provide avenues for healthier lifestyle choices. However, higher-education, specifically at the community college (CC) level, has seen slow growth of health and wellness programming (HWP). The purpose of this study was two-fold: (1) examine community college employees’ awareness, usage, and perceptions of leadership support for HWP, and (2) to explore potential differences across leadership levels, employment roles, and campuses within a college system. Participants in the study (n = 621) completed an employee wellness survey. Results indicated that there was a moderate positive correlation between CC employee awareness and usage (r = 0.62, p < .01), and a weak positive correlation between CC employee awareness and perceptions of leadership support (r = 0.18, p < .01). Results from an ANOVA indicated a statistically significant difference in employee perceptions of leadership support for HWP across three levels of leadership F(2, 1860) = 57.84, p < .001, η2 = 0.06 . Employees felt most supported by their direct supervisor (M = 3.94), followed by their campus administration (M = 3.59), followed by their district administration (M = 3.31). Results also indicated that mean perceptions of leadership support differed significantly across campuses (F(5, 615) = 2.86, p = .015, η2 = .023). Lastly, results indicated that awareness (F(2, 616) = 47.6, p < .001, η2 = .134) and usage of HWP (F(2, 578) = 46.03, p < .001, η2 = .14) different significantly between employment roles. Specifically, faculty awareness (M = 1.96, SD =0.58) differed significantly less from staff (M = 2.33, SD = 0.47) and administration awareness (M = 2.45, SD = 0.35), and also that faculty usage of HWP (M = 0.19, SD = 0.21) differed significantly less from staff (M = 0.35, SD = 0.24) and administration usage of HWP (M = 0.40, SD = 0.22).