Managers’ alcohol policy knowledge and inclination towards early alcohol interventions in the workplace: associations with sociodemographic, work-related and health characteristics
Introduction: High alcohol consumption is linked to increased risks of work-related injuries and costs within an organisation, including lower productivity and more absenteeism. Workplace interventions have commonly focused on health promotion or referral to treatment programmes. However, there is still a limited understanding of factors that influence managers to take early actions or before severe adverse effects occur. This study aimed to examine differences in managers’ alcohol policy knowledge and inclination across a range of sociodemographic, work-related, and health characteristics, as well as the association between policy knowledge and inclination net of these characteristics.
Methods: The data were derived from a cross-sectional study of individuals in management positions in 11 Swedish organisations, performed in the autumn of 2018. Associations were analysed by means of ordered logistic regression analysis (n=430). To begin with, the differences in managers’ policy knowledge and inclination, respectively, were examined across a set of sociodemographic, work-related and health characteristics. These included gender, age, educational level, number of employees, years of experience in current position, self-rated health, and Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT) score. Next, the relationship between policy knowledge and inclination was assessed while accounting for these characteristics.
Results: Higher levels of alcohol policy knowledge and inclination towards early alcohol intervention were found among managers who were older, less educated, were responsible for a greater number of employees, had a greater number of years in the current position, reported good health, or had low AUDIT scores. Compared to women, men were less likely to report higher levels of knowledge but were more inclined to act. Few of the associations were statistically significant; only gender as well as lower educational level and number of employees showed significant estimates for policy knowledge, whereas the number of employees was significantly associated with inclination. Moreover, a strong association was found between level of policy knowledge and inclination to initiate early alcohol intervention, also after adjusting for sociodemographic, work-related, and health characteristics.
Conclusion: Of the characteristics investigated here, alcohol policy knowledge was primarily associated with gender, educational level, number of employees, and managerial experience, whereas inclination towards early interventions was primarily associated with the number of employees. Moreover, managers who reported higher levels of policy knowledge were more inclined to take early actions, regardless of their sociodemographic, work-related, and health characteristics. This could potentially be explained by factors related to the organisational level; a point that should be further addressed in future studies.