Dr. Hammer’s research is focused on improving the physical and mental well-being of all workers in diverse industries through interventions designed to increase employee-supportive behaviors at all leadership levels. Her research focuses on ways in which organizations and employers can help reduce work and family stress and improve positive spillover by facilitating both formal and informal workplace supports such as Family Supportive Supervisor Behavior training.
She has studied workplace interventions with a variety of employee populations such as grocery and service industry, health care, construction, information technology, and government, as well as many others.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made Dr. Hammer's research more important now than ever, as the challenges faced by workers range from work-life stress, disparities in employees’ ability to work from home, and the increased need for employers to support worker safety, health, and well-being both at work and outside the traditional work environment. Many of these challenges have disproportionately affected women and employees of color.
Her current work extends this supportive supervisor training in the military domain, both with Active Duty Military and National Guard/Reserve Component service members. She is also working with Dr. Ellen Kossek on a project extending this training to sick and family leave policy support, as the nation adopts more state and national policies around such leave.
Dr. Hammer is also Co-Director of the Oregon Healthy Workforce Center, one of six Total Worker Health® centers of excellence funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
Current research projects
The Oregon MESH Study, MESH.org is a Department of Defense funded intervention study which tackles the issue of sleep-related health concerns that are increasingly the focus of research in the military domain. The adverse effects of sleep deprivation are known to cause a variety of negative health and family issues. This study tests the effects of an intervention designed to improve the sleep of full-time National Guard members.
SERVe (Study for Employment Retention of Veterans) (2013-2018)
SERVe is a Department of Defense-funded intervention study aimed at improving the health and well-being of service members and their families by targeting the workplace experiences of Veterans and Service Members who are members of the civilian workforce. Conducted as a randomized control trial, SERVe investigated the effects of an intervention which combines training and behavior tracking to improve the knowledge and skills of supervisors with service members in their employ to foster a supportive workplace environment. The SERVe training and behavior tracking programs are now available to the public.
Readiness Supportive Training for Leaders
Funded by the Department of Defense, this study will evaluates the effectiveness of our Readiness Supportive Leadership Training (RESULT) with active duty U.S. Army soldiers. We anticipate that the training program will have a positive impact on service member readiness and resilience, psychological health, team cohesion, and reduced loneliness. This research is designed benefit not only U.S. Army soldiers but service members across all military branches, as well as first-responders and other civilian occupations that face highly stressful situations as part of their work. This is a joint project with Portland State University. Read more about the project on the Oregon and the Workplace blog.
Past Research Projects
The Safety & Health Improvement Program (SHIP) was designed to increase supervisor and peer support and decrease job strain, which play a key role in safety compliance and improved physical and mental health. SHIP integrates a focus on both health protection and health promotion by addressing psycho-social factors that are shown to be related to safety, well-being, and organizational productivity.
The SHIP intervention study was a NIOSH-funded randomized controlled trial focusing on supervisors and their teams. SHIP aimed to increase employee support from supervisors, improve team communication, enhance team effectiveness, and reduce stress and work-family conflict.
The SHIP intervention was composed of:
- One-hour training for supervisors
- Behavior-tracking that reinforced the training principles
- Team-based planning and problem-solving that utilizes a modified version of WFD Consulting's Team Effectiveness Process
- Follow-up sessions
SHIP has been systematically revised to apply across a wide variety of industries and organizations . The revised SHIP training is now available to implement in your organization.
See our most recent abstract here.
My research team
Krista Brockwood-Senior Research Associate
Dr. Brockwood is a Senior Research Associate at OHSU since 2015, but prior to that was at Portland State University (PSU) overseeing two major federally-funded grants with Dr.Leslie Hammer. Dr. Brockwood received her Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology & Systems Science from PSU in 2002. She was an Assistant Professor at Pacific University in the School of Professional Psychology from 2003-2008. Dr. Brockwood is a Veteran having served in the U.S. Army from 1988-1992 in Military Intelligence as a Signals Specialist/Cryptologic Linguist.
Phoenix Rain Bird-Senior Research Assistant
Ms. Rain Bird began working with Dr. Hammer in 2012 as an undergraduate research assistant through the Work-Family Health Network. After graduating with honors from Portland State University in 2013, she joined the SERVe project as a full-time research assistant and continues her work as a research coordinator on the MESH study. Ms. Rain Bird is primarily responsible for managing the data collection, tracking, and incentives for MESH and development and graphic design of the training programs.
Shalene Allen-Senior Research Assistant
Ms. Allen graduated from Portland State University in August 2014 with her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. She joined Dr. Leslie Hammer's lab in November 2017 working on the Oregon MESH study. Ms. Allen is primarily responsible for managing recruitment activities and coordinating fieldwork. Her research goals include improving total worker health, well-being, and safety through varied occupational health interventions.
Luke Mahoney-Graduate Research Assistant
Luke became a member of Dr. Hammer's research team in June 2016. He spent five years in the Marine Corps before beginning his undergraduate studies. He recently graduated from Portland State University with a B. S. in Psychology and is now pursuing a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. His main tasks include assisting with SERVe data management and analysis and the development of the training for the Oregon MESH Study.