There are many fantastic brains behind the Future Work Design project, which will be showcased in coming blogs.
Jonathan joined the University of Nottingham back in 2002, becoming a research fellow after his master’s degree in Occupational Health Psychology. Jonathan’s interest in work-related stress stemmed from a commission he received from the Health and Safety Executive to explore whether it was possible to create a case definition for work-related stress. This formed the basis of his PhD and he hasn’t looked back since!
Now an Occupational Health Psychologist, Jonathan focusses on the primary assessment and management of work-related stress in high stress occupations. He also runs the master’s program in Workplace Health and Wellbeing, which he established in 2007.
As a well-experienced member of the National Advisory board, Jonathan provides a critical academic perspective to the Future Work Design project, offering opinion based on the scientific literature. Specifically, Jonathan offers guidance and feedback on the type of measurement instruments that might be used in the tool. In addition, Jonathan is keen to recognise outstanding work in the project and often celebrates the Team’s successes.
Regarding job stressfulness, Jonathan advises on: what do we know about brief and single item measures of job stressfulness? What’s out there in academic literature? And how can we assess job stressfulness in a valid and reliable manner?
Jonathan comments on the importance of the FWD tool: “I think this project is exciting because it promises to bring the issue of work-related stress into the open, in a way that is constructive and non-confrontational between a line manager and the employee. It seeks to demystify and remove the stigma around work-related stress and bring to the attention of employers and line managers that stress can have its origins in the design, management, and organisation of work. The FWD tool provides a widely accepted framework for establishing what is it about work that could be causing ill health. It also seeks to look at what the manager and employee can do between themselves in terms of identifying simple steps that would reduce their work-related stress. It’s very often the case that the line manager is best placed to know about and have the authority to make tweaks to work design that would benefit individuals rather than going up the hierarchy within an organisation.”
Jonathan is passionate about the project’s ultimate aim; to bring the issue of work-related stress to the forefront of conversations and open up that dialogue between employees and employers. Not only to identify the issue but to work on reducing the risk and agreeing on a solution.
Jonathan discussed his long-term aspirations for the tool: “The long-term dream would be that this becomes a generally accepted tool that is used across sectors and organisations and forms parts of the ongoing cycle of the management of employees. In other words, cyclically, exploring at that individual level between a manager and an employee, how work can be made better.”
Everyone here at FWD is excited to see the results from this innovative tool and the ways it can support people in councils in our area and beyond!
Jonathan provides some real insight to the project. We’re excited to see what comes next for the Future Work Design risk assessment tool. To find out more about Phases 1 & 2, visit https://humanfactors.hull.ac.uk/futureworkdesign/.