Engaging Apparel Employees to Identify and Decide Actions to Address Selected Determinants using Health Promotion Approach


  • W. G. Nadeesha Sewwandi Department of Health Promotion, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, Mihintale, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
  • Sansfica M. Young Department of Environmental Technology, Faculty of Technology, University of Colombo, Malabe, Sri Lanka
  • G. N. D. Guruge Department of Health Promotion, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, Mihintale, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka




Determinants, Employee engagement, Health promotion, Sewing machine operators, Sri Lanka


Low level of employee engagement is one of the most alarming global economic problems. It declines work performance and productivity of employees. The objective of this qualitative study is to identify and decide actions to address selected probable determinants which affect employee engagement. The health promotion principals with participatory approach were implemented with sewing machine operators in an apparel factory in Sri Lanka of age 18–55 (n = 64). The duration of determinant identification took around 3 months while intervention period took around 6 months. Initiation, maintenance and continual monitoring, and re-direction toward greater effectiveness were done as the components of a health promotion process. Group discussions with employees and key informant interviews with managerial personals were recorded, transcribed, translated to English, and thematically analyzed. Without the involvement of the principal investigator, employees were able to identify eight determinants while managerial personals identified three determinants. Among those identified probable determinants, four of which corresponded with those already mentioned in published studies. After facilitation, employees could identify six determinants and they could identify determinants by conducting some interactive activities and while measuring employees’ changes using “health promotional tools” as well. From the identified determinants, employees prioritized four determinants that were addressed and nine actions were developed with the employees to address them in this process. Employees could identify the probable determinants that affect employee engagement in their own work place by themselves and they could decide actions to address selected determinants successfully with minimum guidance through a health promotion approach.


Download data is not yet available.


Bakker AB, Schaufeli WB, Leiter MP, Taris TW. Work engagement: An emerging concept in occupational health psychology. Work Stress 2008;22:187-200.

Sanford B, Coffman C. The high cost of disengaged employees. Gallup Manag J 2002;1:256-69.

Harter JK, Schmidt FL, Hayes TL. Business-unit-level relationship between employee satisfaction, employee engagement, and business outcomes: A meta-analysis. J Appl Psychol 2002;87:268.

Macey WH, Schneider B. The meaning of employee engagement. Ind Organ Psychol 2008;1:3-5.

Rich BL, Lepine JA, Crawford ER. Job engagement: Antecedents and effects on job performance. Acad Manag J 2010;53:617-35.

Warr P. Work, Happiness, and Unhappiness. London: Lawrence Erlbaum; 2017.

Allam Z. Employee disengagement: A fatal consequence to organization and its ameliorative measures. Int Rev Manag Market 2017;7:49-52.

Gallup G. State of the Global Workplace: Employee Engagement Insights for Business Leaders Worldwide. Pridobljeno Dne; 2013.

Fernando M, Caputi P, Ashbury F. Impact on employee productivity from presenteeism and absenteeism: Evidence from a multinational firm in Sri Lanka. J Occup Environ Med 2017;59:691-6.

Singh Y. Employee engagement as a contemporary issue in HRM--A conceptual framework. Int J Eng Manag Res 2016;6:364-8.

Poll G. State of the Global Workplace: Employment Engagement Insights for Business Leaders Worldwide. Gallup News; 2013. Available from: http://www.news.gallup.com/reports/220313/state-global-workplace-2017.aspx#aspnetform. [Last accessed on 2017 Aug 15].

Rajapakshe W. An analysis of major factors affecting labor turnover in the apparel industry in Sri Lanka: Policy alternations for solving the problem. Int J Acad Res Econ Manag Sci 2018;7:214-31.

Tennakoon WD, Lasanthika WJ. Impact of career planning on employee turnover intention in short-term: Evidence from leading garment factory in Sri Lanka. South Asian J Soc Stud Econ 2020;7:24-32.

Anitha J. Determinants of employee engagement and their impact on employee performance. Int J Prod Perform Manag 2014;63:308-23.

World Health Organization. Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion. Health Promotion. Geneva: World Health Organization; 1986.

Samarasinghe D, Fernando M, Guruge D, Amunugama S, Indrawansa S, Ranasinghe R. Saukya Pravardana Kriyavaliya. Colombo: Health Education Bureau, Ministry of Health; 2011.

Pieris K, Guruge D, Perera M, Senarathne L. Children’s Health Country Programme First Phase Programme Review 2010-2012. Colombo: HaPAN; Health Promotion Advocacy Network, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, Plan Sri Lanka; 2013.

Guruge D, Peiris K, Perera KM. Measuring Happiness in Community Settings: Experiences from Sri Lanka. Proceedings of the International Conference in Urban Health 2014. Manchester: ICUH. 2014.

Guruge NG, Goonasekara M, Dharmaratne SD, Gunathunga MW. Engaging a rural community in identifying determinants of low birth weight and deciding on measures to improve low birth weight: An experience from a Sri Lankan study. J Health Popul Nutr 2017;36:41.

Chandani A, Mehta M, Mall A, Khokhar V. Employee engagement: A review paper on factors affecting employee engagement. Indian J Sci Technol 2016;9:1-7.

Purcell J. Maintaining employee engagement in difficult times. Employee Engagement Summit 2009;2009:1.

Heikkeri E. Roots and Consequences of the Employee Disengagement Phenomenon. Master Thesis; 2010.

Sharma D, Krishnan VR. The Impact of Pay Satisfaction and Transformational Leadership on Employee Engagement. Vol. 23. In: Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Management and Behavioral Sciences; 2012. p. 1-12.




How to Cite

W. G. Nadeesha Sewwandi, Sansfica M. Young, & G. N. D. Guruge. (2021). Engaging Apparel Employees to Identify and Decide Actions to Address Selected Determinants using Health Promotion Approach. Asian Pacific Journal of Health Sciences, 8(1), 76–83. https://doi.org/10.21276/apjhs.2021.8.1.16