Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Trust in management key to avoiding correctional staff burnout

Date:
August 17, 2012
Source:
Wayne State University - Office of the Vice President for Research
Summary:
Correctional facility employees who trust supervisors and management are less likely to experience job burnout, according to new research.

Correctional facility employees who trust supervisors and management are less likely to experience job burnout, a Wayne State University researcher has found.

"Trust builds commitment and involvement in the job," said Eric Lambert, Ph.D., professor and chair of criminal justice in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, "but lack of trust leads to burnout and stresses people out."

A correctional facility employee himself before becoming an academic, Lambert developed his study of staff members at a private Midwestern juvenile detention facility after learning that only two other researchers have tried to address the effects of trust in such a setting. Titled "Examining the Relationship Between Supervisor and Management Trust and Job Burnout Among Correctional Staff," the results were published recently in the journal Criminal Justice and Behavior.

Lambert's team defined burnout as consisting of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and feelings of being ineffective at work. They surveyed 200 respondents, who ranged in age from 19 to 68 years old and had been on the job from one to 53 months, to find out if trust in supervisors and in higher management had any effect on each of those characteristics.

Researchers indeed found that higher trust levels almost across the board resulted in lower reported burnout characteristics in employees. The only exception was the effect of trust in management, which seemed to have no bearing on how employees perceived their effectiveness on the job. Lambert said that might be because higher level managers are too far removed from day-to-day operations to have much interaction with employees.

Employees who trusted their supervisors, however, saw themselves as more effective at work. But the disparity in trust and perceived work effectiveness doesn't mean management should be ignored in the workplace, as it still is associated with dimensions of burnout, Lambert said.

"This suggests the need to increase both forms of trust in the correctional workplace, and not to ignore one or both," he said.

While trust is important in any work setting, Lambert said it's especially so in corrections because of the high level of personal contact.

"Prisons need human beings to operate," he said. "You cannot use machines; it's not like an assembly line. Everything you deal with involves interaction with inmates, co-workers and supervisors."

Lambert said his study opens the door for trust research at other types of correctional facilities, but believes the findings will translate and affirm the role of trust levels as a key factor in burnout. The next step -- which can be taken without costing a lot of money or resources -- is for correctional facilities to develop ways to build trust.

Responsibility for that process, he said, lies with supervisors and higher level administrators, who can accomplish it by holding themselves to high ethical standards and being genuinely considerate and concerned for employees' welfare. Listening and allowing staff input into their jobs and organization is another way to build positive relationships.

Trust also can be built by focusing on organizational justice, which researchers say comprises two aspects, distributive justice and procedural justice. The first refers to perceptions of fair and just organizational outcomes, such as pay, promotions, evaluations, assignments, workload, rewards and punishments. The second refers to perceptions that processes and procedures used to reach those outcomes are fair, just and transparent.

If that sounds similar to other situations, Lambert said, it's because the principles are the same.

"Trust is a basic human need," he said. "It's part of the foundation of any good relationship, whether it's work, romantic or social."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wayne State University - Office of the Vice President for Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wayne State University - Office of the Vice President for Research. "Trust in management key to avoiding correctional staff burnout." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120817151523.htm>.
Wayne State University - Office of the Vice President for Research. (2012, August 17). Trust in management key to avoiding correctional staff burnout. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120817151523.htm
Wayne State University - Office of the Vice President for Research. "Trust in management key to avoiding correctional staff burnout." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120817151523.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 23, 2014) The WHO has warned up to 20,000 people could be infected with Ebola over the next few weeks. As Sonia Legg reports, the implications for the West African countries suffering from the disease are huge. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) Health officials warn that without further intervention, the number of Ebola cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone could reach 1.4 million by January. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: No Nation Gets Pass on Climate Change

Obama: No Nation Gets Pass on Climate Change

AP (Sep. 23, 2014) In a forceful appeal for international cooperation on limiting carbon pollution, President Barack Obama warned world leaders at the UN Climate Summit on Tuesday that the globe's climate is changing faster than efforts to address it. (Sept. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Overcrowding Has Public Schools Going Vertical

Overcrowding Has Public Schools Going Vertical

AP (Sep. 23, 2014) Pricey real estate and overcrowding have forced urban and suburban school districts to get creative. In Atlanta and outside Washington, that means converting high rise commercial buildings into vertical learning environments. (Sept. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins