Project: Challenging Variances in Employee Engagement Across a Vessel Hierarchy’

Peer reviewed and published

This project was submitted on 30/07/2015, published on 30/07/2015

Challenging Variances in Employee Engagement Across a Vessel Hierarchy’
Aim: To evaluate the levels of engagement of Marine crew (who operate and maintain the vessels) and Survey Crew (who operate upon the vessel) with on-board health and safety systems.

Based upon fundamental statistical analysis, it was alleged a significant imbalance existed in the engagement with health & safety systems between the Marine and Survey crews on-board a fleet of survey vessels.

Quantative and qualitative analysis of health & safety performances was used to evaluate levels of engagement across the management systems. The quantative aspect consisted of the analysis of lagging indicators, such as accident reports, days served on-board and observation cards, as well as leading indicators, such as on-board training and employee / management interactions.

Qualitative research was undertaken by visiting vessels and completing a case study to better understand perceptions from both sides of the divide.

Language barriers were noted as a root cause for low levels of engagement amongst a multicultural crew. However the most notable finding was an observed level of apathy amongst the Marine Crew relating to their uneasiness, and often unwillingness to raise concerns with the Captain. Further research is required to understand the potential influence of cultural norms as a contributor to this apathy. However, initial results indicated that other contributory factors may also include:
 Contract type – The Marine Crew was predominantly employed on temporary contracts.
 Hierarchal structure – Marine Crews operated within a military-like structure, while the Survey Crew operate with a much flatter structure, leading to noticeable differences in the levels of interaction between management / non-management within the respective disciplines.
 Education – Survey Crews were predominantly educated to degree level, while Marine Crew training was invariably limited to maritime training.
Education of the vessel leaders was deemed essential if the apathy was to be addressed. Tools and techniques were required to enable the leaders to engage with those who do not expect to be asked for their opinion, especially if they were to get an honest answer.
Challenging Variances in Employee Engagement Across a Vessel Hierarchy’
Aim: To evaluate the levels of engagement of Marine crew (who operate and maintain the vessels) and Survey Crew (who operate upon the vessel) with on-board health and safety systems.

Based upon fundamental statistical analysis, it was alleged a significant imbalance existed in the engagement with health & safety systems between the Marine and Survey crews on-board a fleet of survey vessels.

Quantative and qualitative analysis of health & safety performances was used to evaluate levels of engagement across the management systems. The quantative aspect consisted of the analysis of lagging indicators, such as accident reports, days served on-board and observation cards, as well as leading indicators, such as on-board training and employee / management interactions.

Qualitative research was undertaken by visiting vessels and completing a case study to better understand perceptions from both sides of the divide.

Language barriers were noted as a root cause for low levels of engagement amongst a multicultural crew. However the most notable finding was an observed level of apathy amongst the Marine Crew relating to their uneasiness, and often unwillingness to raise concerns with the Captain. Further research is required to understand the potential influence of cultural norms as a contributor to this apathy. However, initial results indicated that other contributory factors may also include:
 Contract type – The Marine Crew was predominantly employed on temporary contracts.
 Hierarchal structure – Marine Crews operated within a military-like structure, while the Survey Crew operate with a much flatter structure, leading to noticeable differences in the levels of interaction between management / non-management within the respective disciplines.
 Education – Survey Crews were predominantly educated to degree level, while Marine Crew training was invariably limited to maritime training.
Education of the vessel leaders was deemed essential if the apathy was to be addressed. Tools and techniques were required to enable the leaders to engage with those who do not expect to be asked for their opinion, especially if they were to get an honest answer.

Simon Hatson poster.pdf
Masters
Human factors & behavioural safety
Other

Organisation: University of Portsmouth

University
University of Portsmouth
Occupational Health and Safety
Occupational Health and Safety
Portsmouth,
Portsmouth,
PO1 2UP ,
United Kingdom
+44 (0)23 9284 8484

Principal Investigator: Simon Hatson

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