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Implementation of a new working practice to the client process – the barriers and enablers

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FIOH has developed a new working practice – the Abilitator – for assessing the work ability and functioning of the persons with a weak labour market situation. This has been done in a coordination project called the Social Inclusion and the Changes in Work Ability and Capacity funded by the European Social Fund (ESF). The Abilitator is a digital self-assessment questionnaire analysing the given answers and producing an individual feedback. It has mainly been used in the Finnish ESF projects between 2015 and 2018.

The aim of this study is to investigate the factors that enable or hinder the implementation of the Abilitator to the client processes of different service providers.

The study was based on an action research and implemented with an employment and a health service provider. The data included transcribed material of individual (n=2) and group (n=5) interviews, SWOT-analysis (n=7), the descriptions of operational environments (n=2) and client processes of the service providers (n=2), memos (n=3), e-mails (n=9) and the data gathered in the workshops (n=4). The concepts of implementation, barriers and enablers were used as a framework for data analysis. The data were analysed using content analysis and ATLASti -programme.

The results showed that the main barriers of the implementation related to the way the working practice was used (e.g., poor digital skills, lack of resources, non-systematic use), the environment of use and the characteristics of the practice. The main enablers related to the users’ attitudes and competence. Other enablers were a need for a new working practice and its perceived benefits.

When developing a new working practice, it is important to engage both clients and professionals, demonstrate the benefits of the practice and create a plan for the implementation. The positive results of the Abilitator encourage to develop new working practices for client processes also in the future despite the constantly changing operational environment.

Contribution to PEROSH Research Conference 2019.

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