Characterizing the business skills of the public health workforce: Practical implications from the Public Health Workforce Interests and Needs Survey (PH WINS)

Julie Kornfeld, Joshua Sznol, David J Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Context: Public health financial competencies are often overlooked or underrepresented in public health training programs. These skills are important for public health workforce members who are involved in managing resources and strategic planning and have been defined as key competencies by several national entities. Objective: To characterize business skills among state health agency employees and examine self-reported skill levels and their association with job satisfaction, worksite training and development opportunities, and annual salary. Design: A cross-sectional survey, the Public Health Workforce Interests and Needs Survey (PH WINS), of state health agency central office employees was conducted in 2014. Multivariable logistic regression analyses, controlling for job classification, supervisory status, years of public health practice, annual compensation, educational attainment, geographic region, and sociodemographic status, were used to assess the relationship between business skills and training environment and job satisfaction. Linear regression was used to correlate business skills and annual compensation. Setting and Participants: A total of 10 246 state health agency staff completed a Web-based survey. Main Outcome Measure: Self-reported proficiency in business skills, job satisfaction, opportunities for training, and annual salary. Results: The workforce reported high levels of proficiency in applying quality improvement concepts and managing change (67.5% and 69.2%, respectively). Half of the respondents reported proficiency in budget skills (49.3%). Participants who were proficient in applying quality improvement concepts were significantly more likely to report job satisfaction (OR = 1.27). A supportive training environment was significantly associated with business competencies (range of OR = 1.08-1.11). Managing change (β = .15) and budget skill proficiency (β = .37) were significantly associated with increased yearly compensation. Conclusions: Public health workers who self-report proficiency with business skills report increased job satisfaction, higher annual salary, and a supportive training environment. These findings support the need for the development of appropriately designed business skill training opportunities to increase competencies in this critical domain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S159-S167
JournalJournal of Public Health Management and Practice
Volume21
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

Fingerprint

Health Manpower
Job Satisfaction
Public Health
Salaries and Fringe Benefits
Budgets
Quality Improvement
Public Health Practice
Occupational Health
Surveys and Questionnaires
Health Surveys
Workplace
Self Report
Linear Models
Cross-Sectional Studies
Logistic Models
Regression Analysis
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Education
Health

Keywords

  • Business skills
  • Competencies
  • Public health workforce
  • Public Health Workforce Interests and Needs Survey (PH WINS)
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health Policy

Cite this

@article{32c51c9e150f47e094df64babdc790cb,
title = "Characterizing the business skills of the public health workforce: Practical implications from the Public Health Workforce Interests and Needs Survey (PH WINS)",
abstract = "Context: Public health financial competencies are often overlooked or underrepresented in public health training programs. These skills are important for public health workforce members who are involved in managing resources and strategic planning and have been defined as key competencies by several national entities. Objective: To characterize business skills among state health agency employees and examine self-reported skill levels and their association with job satisfaction, worksite training and development opportunities, and annual salary. Design: A cross-sectional survey, the Public Health Workforce Interests and Needs Survey (PH WINS), of state health agency central office employees was conducted in 2014. Multivariable logistic regression analyses, controlling for job classification, supervisory status, years of public health practice, annual compensation, educational attainment, geographic region, and sociodemographic status, were used to assess the relationship between business skills and training environment and job satisfaction. Linear regression was used to correlate business skills and annual compensation. Setting and Participants: A total of 10 246 state health agency staff completed a Web-based survey. Main Outcome Measure: Self-reported proficiency in business skills, job satisfaction, opportunities for training, and annual salary. Results: The workforce reported high levels of proficiency in applying quality improvement concepts and managing change (67.5{\%} and 69.2{\%}, respectively). Half of the respondents reported proficiency in budget skills (49.3{\%}). Participants who were proficient in applying quality improvement concepts were significantly more likely to report job satisfaction (OR = 1.27). A supportive training environment was significantly associated with business competencies (range of OR = 1.08-1.11). Managing change (β = .15) and budget skill proficiency (β = .37) were significantly associated with increased yearly compensation. Conclusions: Public health workers who self-report proficiency with business skills report increased job satisfaction, higher annual salary, and a supportive training environment. These findings support the need for the development of appropriately designed business skill training opportunities to increase competencies in this critical domain.",
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AB - Context: Public health financial competencies are often overlooked or underrepresented in public health training programs. These skills are important for public health workforce members who are involved in managing resources and strategic planning and have been defined as key competencies by several national entities. Objective: To characterize business skills among state health agency employees and examine self-reported skill levels and their association with job satisfaction, worksite training and development opportunities, and annual salary. Design: A cross-sectional survey, the Public Health Workforce Interests and Needs Survey (PH WINS), of state health agency central office employees was conducted in 2014. Multivariable logistic regression analyses, controlling for job classification, supervisory status, years of public health practice, annual compensation, educational attainment, geographic region, and sociodemographic status, were used to assess the relationship between business skills and training environment and job satisfaction. Linear regression was used to correlate business skills and annual compensation. Setting and Participants: A total of 10 246 state health agency staff completed a Web-based survey. Main Outcome Measure: Self-reported proficiency in business skills, job satisfaction, opportunities for training, and annual salary. Results: The workforce reported high levels of proficiency in applying quality improvement concepts and managing change (67.5% and 69.2%, respectively). Half of the respondents reported proficiency in budget skills (49.3%). Participants who were proficient in applying quality improvement concepts were significantly more likely to report job satisfaction (OR = 1.27). A supportive training environment was significantly associated with business competencies (range of OR = 1.08-1.11). Managing change (β = .15) and budget skill proficiency (β = .37) were significantly associated with increased yearly compensation. Conclusions: Public health workers who self-report proficiency with business skills report increased job satisfaction, higher annual salary, and a supportive training environment. These findings support the need for the development of appropriately designed business skill training opportunities to increase competencies in this critical domain.

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