I work for a large multinational pipeline and energy company. We have a company with approximately 10,000 employees spread over 4 countries. We have large hubs of operations such as Calgary and Huston. We also have many smaller area offices, manned stations, etc that are spread over the 4 countries of operation. Overall we have a very good corporate culture of safety, health and mental health. There are entire departments set up to educate workers on resources available, as well as how to monitor psychological health of yourself and warning signs in coworkers.
I work in a group that focuses on maintenance projects that we execute across Canada. We have a manager with project managers and support staff reporting to him We execute about $850,000,000 in work each year to maintain our assets reliability and safety. Our group focuses on the gas operations inside of Canada. From my position as a safety coordinator I decided to examine the PHS of this smaller more manageable group. I also have enough influence in this group to be able to implement change. The group that I chose to assess is the Eastern project management team. This is a group of 12 project managers, 2 program leads, 4 interns. It is their job to take the maintenance program that is delivered from our planning group and execute the work. They hire the contractors monitor costs, and ensure that our projects are executed in a safe, quality driven, and productive manner.
3 years ago the existing manager left the group and one of the program leads took over for him. His management style is similar but there are some notable differences. He is a big proponent of ensuring that health and safety are a value with the team. Members of the team have raised personal mental health issues in the past and they were accommodated in a very professional manner. The subject of mental health has been brought up at team meetings in a positive manner.
I used the guiding minds at work survey form for my assessment. I sent the assessment out to one intern, and 4 project managers (PM). I attempted to ensure that I had people from different cultures and sexes in the group of 5. A survey group this small has a tendency to be limited in the amount of diversity you can aim for. However, with such a diverse group of people I believe I was a successful as possible.
The results came in anonymously. I was not surprised to see results very close to what I would have filled out. All of the surveys showed an overall satisfaction with their work. See the charted survey results. The survey showed a healthy culture of psychological wellbeing in our group. One area that all of the people surveyed showed an issue was with the comment “I feel I am rewarded (in terms of praise and recognition) for the level of effort I put out for my job”. This comment was marked as disagree by one person and strongly disagree with the other 4.
After I received the surveys back I talked with individuals from around the group to see if they felt the same way and why. The entire team had very similar feedback. They like the overall structure of our work. They have excellent life work balance. They all felt that since we had a management change three years ago recognition for a job well done had disappeared. People noted that when the old manager switched jobs their satisfaction went down slowly. Although the new manager doesn’t talk down or have personality issues he fails to recognize the team when they meet and exceed expectations. Some people noted that it compounds the issue when similar teams are rewarded on a regular basis for meeting milestones well below what our group consistently achieves.
I decided to talk to a number of workers that had recently transferred to other groups. Although their moves had multiple motivations everyone commented that they did not like working for the Manager. They no longer felt appreciated at work. They also noted that the sparse praise that was offered was only in a large group setting and was given equally to the best and worst workers. Also in yearly worker reviews the manager chooses to mark meets expectations for everyone rather than exceeds for exceptional workers. The same brush technique is meant not to offend workers that need improvement. However, it brings down moral and it creates a missed opportunity for workers to grow If they aren’t meeting expectations.
Information from this report will be used to gain support from the director of our group. The VP position and directors have always been strong supporters of PH and S in the workplace. We have a large variety of programs and support staff dedicated to these rolls.
Multiple workers surveyed with very similar results.
Largest are lacking in the survey was attributed to workers not feeling that the praise and non-financial rewards are not balanced with the amount of work going into the company
Follow up interviews and information
Every worker interviewed and talked with agree with the survey results
In the past 3 years praise and recognition of accomplishments has been vacant for our group
Workers have left the group to work in other departments. A main reason cited for this by the workers that left is they didn’t feel appreciated in their roles working at PI East
Overall everyone likes the manager and the work he does but feels that he never shows appreciation for the work force when they accomplish goals.
Key points to improve workers PH and S in the group
Manager needs feedback and coaching on where to improve his skills
Goal matrix can be updated to include recognition and goal can be filtered down as applicable
Will not require any financial budget increases for services
Will align with current goals and matrixes set up by the company
Will increase retention of skilled managers to the group
Will result in an increase in efficiency and productivity