Why Workers Disengage? Factors from “Head” or “Heart” to Be Tagged on?

  •  Normala Govindarajo    
  •  Dileep M    
  •  Subrahmanium Ramulu    


Oil palm plantations are decisively situated in the various regions of Malaysia where the climatic conditions are appropriate for planting oil palm. One cannot compare the work environment of such plantations with normal office settings. The workers in those plantations are working in remote locations, totally cut off from the other part of the world. Majority workers are from Indonesia, Philippines like low income countries. The work environment is physically demanding and challenging to the workers due to many factors. An exploratory study has conducted on employee disengagement in the oil palm plantations in the Sabah region of Malaysia. The study has taken up employee disengagement factors due to the lack of interest among the local people to engage themselves in the oil palm plantations work and the plantation industry in Malaysia is facing an acute labor shortage to carry forwards the oil palm business. The study follows, field visits, interviews with the workers, focus group discussions and specifically Delphi. The findings supported to identify the 7 factors coming under the theme employee disengagement as Wage and Welfare, Work Environment, Lack of Safety and security, Poor Organizational Support, Rigid Rules and regulations, and Lack of individual motivation. The study paves better insight to lead this qualitative research in an organized quantitative research.

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