Does Dialogue Improve the Sustainable Employability of Low-Educated Employees? A Study Protocol for an Effect and Process Evaluation of "Healthy HR"

Emmelie Hazelzet*, Hans Bosma, Angelique de Rijk, Inge Houkes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Background:There is a need to develop sustainable employability (SE) interventions that are better aligned to the needs of low-educated employees. This group needs to get a voice in intervention development and implementation. In this study, a dialogue-based approach is proposed consisting of an online step-by-step support toolkit for employers, "Healthy Human Resources" (HHR). When intervening, this toolkit enables and stimulates employers to have a continuous dialogue with their low-educated employees. By improving the employees' job control, HHR is aimed at cost-beneficially improving SE. This paper describes the protocol of the evaluation study to evaluate the effectiveness and implementation process of HHR on the SE of low-educated employees. Methods:The protocol of the evaluation study consists of: (1) an effect evaluation with a pretest-posttest design with a 1-year follow-up in five work organizations in the Netherlands deploying low-educated employees and with SE as the primary outcome and job control as the secondary outcome. The effect evaluation is expanded with a budget impact analysis; (2) a mixed-method process evaluation at 6 and 12 months after the start of HHR to evaluate the whole implementation process of HHR. This includes the experiences with HHR of various stakeholders, such as employees, human resource managers, and line managers. Discussion:The effect evaluation will give insight into the effects of HHR on the SE of low-educated employees. The process evaluation will provide insight into the underlying mechanisms of the (in) effectiveness of HHR. By improving dialogue, we hypothesize that HHR, through enhancing job control, will strengthen the SE of low-educated employees. Also for helping with tackling the socioeconomic health gap, if proven effective, the implementation of HHR on a wider scale can be recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Article number446
Number of pages9
JournalFrontiers in Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sep 2020


  • low-educated employees
  • employer
  • dialogue
  • job control
  • sustainable employability
  • effect evaluation
  • process evaluation
  • protocol
  • WORK
  • COST

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