Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research
Objective: This study 1) identifies the top leadership skills needed for entry-level local public health department employees, 2) provides employee self-assessment ratings in importance, preparation, and proficiency of select leadership skills, and 3) compares the self-assessment and supervisor ratings of select leadership skills to assess how prepared and proficient employees are. Participants: A sample of positional leaders (n=15) from Nebraska’s local health departments provided results for the top leadership skills for entry-level local public health department employees. Employee self-assessment ratings (n=18) and paired samples of employees and supervisors (n=12) produced results on the importance, preparation, and proficiency of select leadership skills. The research took place between April 2022 and July 2022. Methods: Positional leaders participated in 3 rounds of the Delphi Method to ascertain the top leadership skills. Employees evaluated the importance, preparation, and proficiency in select leadership skills. Supervisors were asked to rate employees on matching skills and outcomes. All surveys were web-based to support a geographically diverse sample. Results: Positional leaders identified 1) lead with honesty, integrity, and trustworthiness, 2) be culturally aware of differences affecting health beliefs, 3) communicate precisely and effectively, 4) be adaptable to change, 5) collaborate and promote teamwork, and 6) collaborate with individuals and organizations as the top leadership skills. Employees evaluated themselves as deficient in many of the preparation and proficiency categories but ranked every skill as highly important. Significant differences exist between employee and supervisor evaluations, most prevalently within the importance category where employees found each skill more important than their supervisor. Overall results indicate a deficit in the preparation and proficiency of employees in select leadership skills. Conclusion: Entry-level public health employees are deficient in the preparation and proficiency of many leadership skills necessary to succeed in the field. Employees and supervisors understand the importance of leadership skills in their job but were not adequately prepared before entering the public health field. Preparation deficits may contribute to poor proficiency in those leadership skills.
Weekly, Taelyr, "A Study to Determine the Most Important Leadership Skills for Entry-Level Public Health Practitioners" (2022). Theses & Dissertations. 697.
Available for download on Tuesday, December 05, 2023