Managers have been neglected in health literacy research. There still is little known about the health-literacy status and needs of commercial industry managers. This article reduces the existing knowledge gap by presenting findings of an exploratory qualitative study. We conducted 23 separate semi-structured interviews of managers from all management levels (low, middle and top) and experts in the field of health management and/or personnel management. The qualitative interviews were analysed according to Mayring’s content analytic approach using MAXQDA. The findings indicate that managers do have considerable information levels about existing health topics and relevant problems but have difficulties of discernment as to which sources of information can be activated or accessed in a timely fashion due to work and information overload. Even those who devise strategies often fail in implementing health-literate behavior. Experts and managers had fairly consistent views on the importance of health literacy among managers. Most agreed that mental health was neglected and that company conditions were important in influencing the ability to act in a way that promoted health literacy. The findings also show that strengthening of managerial self-perception, self-regulation and self-control, raising awareness and ability to take personal responsibility for one’s own health, developing skills in handling large amounts of information and fostering open and trusting communication are all essential.

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