Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Poll: Entergy workers lack confidence in management

Reformer Staff

Brattleboro Reformer
Tuesday, October 2
VERNON -- An internal, companywide survey indicates that employees of Entergy Inc. lack confidence in the corporation's leadership and feel there is a lack of trust, fairness and free exchange of information.
A May 2007 document obtained by the Reformer gauges employee sentiment in categories ranging from teamwork to resource availability to psychological safety and includes data from surveys conducted in 2001, 2003 and 2007.
Entergy scored highest in safety, teamwork and empowerment, while it scored lowest in leadership, pay/performance and psychological safety.
Entergy spokesman Rob Williams confirmed the authenticity of the survey but could not verify whether the particular copy pertained to Entergy Nuclear, which operates Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon, or the company as a whole.
He said all Entergy employees were invited to take part in the survey, and those who did ranked their agreement with particular statements on a sliding scale.
"Any good, large corporation does this routinely with its workforce," Williams said.
The wide-ranging survey shows several areas of concern for the company, but it also highlights a number of areas in which employees are confident in its actions.
For example, the average employee response to the question, "Overall, how do you rate the level of safe behavior by your work group," was 95 percent and "Safety is a top priority of management" was 86 percent.
Other figures, however, were more troubling.
Under the category of 'Psychological Safety,' respondents rated "Senior management shows by their actions that they trust employees" at 43 percent and 47 percent agreed with the statement, "Overall, there is a free exchange of views in this organization; people are not afraid to say what they think."
Questions about the company's leadership were also comparatively negative.
Respondents rated their confidence in the "fairness of management" at 42 percent, their belief that management and employees "share common values" at 40 percent, and their feeling that "sufficient effort is made to get the opinions and thinking of people who work here" at 49 percent.
Employees said that compared with last year, their "overall commitment to the company" is 32 percent.
They said Entergy's commitment to "doing what is necessary to keep its most talented employees," was 29 percent.
And their belief that senior management take into account "the impact of their decisions on employee welfare" clocked in at 36 percent.
On the whole, employees said they were satisfied with their level of training, their freedom to do their job, and their ability to stay focused and "persist when faced with difficulties."
They were less satisfied with their level of compensation and its relation to their performance.
Employees said they were valued by the company at a rate of 55 percent and would recommend the company to other potential employees at a rate of 64 percent.
"Entergy spends a lot of resources conducting these polls, so we take them seriously," Williams said. "Generally, where it's unfavorable indicates to management a possible area for improvement."
He said that the company strives to be open with its polling information and therefore distributes the results to its employees.
"It's all part of what makes Entergy a great place to work," he said.
Paul Heintz can be reached at pheintz@reformer.com or 802-254-2311, ext. 275.

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