The influence of facility design and human resource management on health care professionals.
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BACKGROUND: Cost control of health care services is a strategic concern for organizations. To lower costs, some organizations reduce staffing levels. However, this may not be worth the trade-off, as the quality of services will likely be reduced, morale among health care providers tends to suffer, and patient satisfaction is likely to decline. PURPOSE: The potential synergy between human resource management and facility design and operation was investigated to achieve the goal of providing cost containment strategies without sacrificing the quality of services and the commitment of employees. METHODOLOGY: About 700 health care professionals from 10 acute-care hospitals participated in this cross-sectional study. The authors used structural equation modeling to test whether employees' evaluations of their physical work environment and human resource practices were significantly associated with lower job-related anxiety, higher job satisfaction, and higher organizational commitment. FINDINGS: The analysis found that employees' evaluations of their physical work environment and human resource practices influenced their job-related feelings and attitudes. Perceived organizational support mediated this relationship. The study also found a small but positive interaction effect between the physical work environment and human resource practices. The influence of physical work environment was small, mainly because of the high predictive value of human resource practices and strong confounding variables included in the analysis. This study specifically showed the role of facility design in reducing job-related anxiety among caregivers. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Preliminary evidence is provided that facility design can be used as a managerial tool for improving job-related attitudes and feelings of employees and earning their commitment. Providing a healthy and safe work environment can be perceived by employees as an indication that the organization respects them and cares about their well-being, which might be reciprocated with higher levels of motivation and commitment toward the organization.