Issues of trust and control are two major determinants for employee disengagement and organizational conflict. The following article describes how Bill Day, owner of Seaworks, a rapidly growing ocean salvage company, deals with issues of trust and employee disengagement.
This article incorporates findings from an interview with Bill Day and literature on the areas of trust, employee disengagement, and the need for a personal sense of control.
Key determinants for employee engagement are a sense of trust between employees and their managers as well as a sense of personal control. Restructuring efforts in the past may have been major contributors to employee disengagement. Trust must be communicated through the firm's culture and it must start from the top of the organization. A key barrier between employees and managers is the managerial reluctance to delegate authority and devolve power. This conflict between the organization's goals and the goals of its managers is a major catalyst for organizational dysfunctionality.
There may be a direct correlation between managerial reluctance to delegate decision‐making and employee disengagement. This defensive posture by management negatively affects employee‐management trust and employees' sense of control in the workplace. While attempts at organizational delayering and employee involvement in decision‐making have often failed in the past, a commonsense approach is suggested with a heightened probability of success.
This paper suggests a practical means of reducing the incidence of employee disengagement and thereby increasing productivity and performance. Issues concerning trust and control in organizations are resolved. It is also posited that such proposed organizational improvements will reduce workplace conflict and absenteeism, employee turnover, and increase economy of effort, thereby lowering costs and improving profitability.
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