Correctional facility employees who trust supervisors and management are less likely to experience job burnout, U.S. researchers say.
"Trust builds commitment and involvement in the job," Eric Lambert, professor at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the Wayne State University, said in a statement. "But lack of trust leads to burnout and stresses people out."
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.
For the purpose of the study, burnout was defined as consisting of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and feelings of being ineffective at work.
They surveyed 200 respondents, ages 19-68 years on the job from one to 53 months.
The study, published in the journal Criminal Justice and Behavior, found higher trust levels almost across the board resulted in lower reported burnout characteristics in employees. Employees who trusted their supervisors saw themselves as more effective at work.
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," Lambert said. "You cannot use machines; it's not like an assembly line. Everything you deal with involves interaction with inmates, co-workers and supervisors."