A doctoral thesis from the University of Gothenburg shows that in order to build a business with a high degree of employee engagement, managers not only need to work very actively, they also need to create an environment of mutual trust.
Business managers widely proclaim that ’employees are our most important resource’. According to the author of the thesis, Richard Berglund at the Department of Work Science, there are 34,000 Google hits for the corresponding phrase in Swedish –‘personalen är vår viktigaste resurs’. Berglund’s more than 25 years at Swerea IVF, the research institute for the Swedish manufacturing industry, have given him plenty of insight into nearly 1,000 Swedish companies and their production environments.Wasteful businesses
Another factor is responsibility and authority. A manager’s decisions can turn into a bottleneck that erodes employee engagement. Delegation of authority and provision of resources to try new ideas have the opposite effect. Occasional mistakes are not a problem since many more things turn out great.It’s the action that matters
’Engagement relies on trust, and trust takes a long time to build but can be crushed in a moment. It is also important that the management creates and communicates a clear line of action to follow in the midst of the constant change all companies have to manage,’ says Berglund.
Richard Berglund, Department of Work Science, University of Gothenburg, successfully defended his doctoral thesis ’Commitment wanted: How three manufacturing companies seek their workers’ contribution when implementing lean production on Friday 18 June 2010.
For more information: Richard Berglund, tel. +46 (0)707 80 60 47, firstname.lastname@example.org
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