Psychology Problems in Chevron

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Psychology problems in Chevron


The center capacity of an I/O psychology research expert is to studythe conduct in the work setting and the application of the routinesand standards of psychology to individuals and teams in a givenorganization. (, 2014). For the past two years, Chevron, anAmerican multinational energy corporation, has been facing I/Opsychology problems that have negatively influenced its productivity,customer satisfaction and general company improvement. The firstproblem is lack of motivation amongst the employees. The indicatorsof lack of motivation at Chevron are the habits of procrastinationand absence of stimuli. The second problem is worker stress.According to the company’s recent employee research, about 30% ofthe workers showed signs of stress related to work. The third problemis alcoholism, which affects almost 3 in every 10 workers. This paperlooks at these problems, how they affect the company, what has beendone to mitigate them and key solutions and recommendations to solvethem.

Lackof motivation

Recent research conducted by the company’s HR department revealedthat the company’s workers are not motivated in their workplace.According to Sasson (2014), motivation and enthusiasm are manifestedby interest in taking action and following up on tasks. At Chevron,lack of motivation has manifested itself by the habit ofprocrastination, lack of enough incentives, nervousness and generallaziness. Most of the workers were foundto lack incentive and drive to carry out their duties, andperformance of minor tasks that are necessary to keep operations atthe workplace going on. Over the past two years, laziness and absenceof energy have been the core reasons why the employees have developedthe habit of procrastination.

Any drop in the level of staff motivation at Chevron can bedisastrous if the exact cause is not identified and addressed. Thisis the reason the management has to be conscious of any further signsof lack of employee motivation by identifying the factors that causethe problem in the organization. According to Pinder (2014), one ofthe signs of growing lack of employee motivation is tardiness orabsenteeism. The employees could start taking longer or more frequentbreaks due to lack of motivation. Secondly, decrease in productivityfrom individuals or groups can be used to study the extent to whichthe problem has grown.


The Chevron HR department has for the past two years raised concernover the increasing stress levels amongst the workers. According tothe studies, increased levels of job stress is evaluated by thefeeling amongst the workers that they do not have enough control oftheir workplace and that the management demands a lot from them.

Atthe company, the main causes of stress have been identified andgrouped into four major groups. The first cause of stress, accountingfor 20% of the total, is related to juggling work and personal lives.Most of the Chevron employees need to spend up to half of their totalfree time following upon work progress, such as re-assessing filesand scheduling for future work. The second cause is lack of jobsecurity. With the energy industry’s stiff competition, mostworkers fear losing their jobs to more competent employees, or beingdropped from major assignments. The third group is issues amongst theemployees, such as misunderstandings and quarrels. The fourth causeis high workload, which perhaps is the biggest factor for job stress.The nature of the organization’s operations demands the workers togive in more than usual, and this ends up stressing them as they tryto cope with the company needs. According to Printing &amp Smith(2005), worker stress is a personal phenomenon which can varies fromone individual to another.


According to (Dalton, Hoyle &amp Watts, 2010), about 17.6 millionpeople abuse alcohol, or are alcoholic. Most of these are employedpeople, who work for some of the largest corporations in the country.At Chevron, 3 of every 10 workers have been observed to be sufferingfrom alcoholism. Their specific case is alcohol dependence, whosesymptoms are craving for alcohol, loss of control when sober,physical dependence and intolerance to sobriety. There is a universalclassification of debility according to title I of theAmericans with Disabilities Act (ADA), signifying that somefirms may classify people with alcoholism as incapacitated, whileothers may not (Batiste, 2014).

Daltonet al (2010) identify the main signs of an alcoholic worker,all which have been observed at Chevron. First, they usually reportto work with frequent hangovers, signs of binge drinking. They alsolike discussing about alcohol, and have developed a kind of obsessionwith it. These employees also have increased negativity and signs ofdepression, alongside sudden outbursts of temper. Also significantly,alcoholic employees yield low or diminishing productivity, areunkempt and act with secretive and dishonest behavior.

Howthe problems affect the company

Theeffects of lack of motivation can be illustrated by the famousexperiment known as the candle problem (Seel, 2012). Renownedpsychologist Karld Duncker developed this experiment to test aperson’s problem solving skills when presented with a kind ofmental block. The results of the experiment indicate that lack ofmotivation makes it hard for employees to function optimally in thework place, hence negatively affecting the company’s aim to meetthe objectives. This can make Chevron to lose out to competitors inthe energy industry, and possibly make losses. Going per the outcomesof the studies, motivated employees will perform more effectuallythan disengaged or demotivated employees will thus, the differencebetween engaged or motivated employees and disengaged employees makethe difference between an organization’s development and failure.

The effect of worker stress to all corporations in the United Statesimpacts the national wage bill (Printing &amp Smith, 2005). Atorganizational level, stress directly affects the employees’productivity, performance and turnover, making it an importantmanagerial issue. When the employees are stressed, innovation andnovelty, two very important issues in organizational development, arehindered. One cannot expect stressed workers to come up with ideaswhich may be applied to make the organization better, as stressaffects the mentality and the health of the mind.

Alcoholism has been identified as one of the leading causes of pooremployee performance (Dalton, Hoyle &amp Watts, 2010). Just as therest of the problems discussed, alcoholism affects the economicperformance of an organization, given that some of the most sensitivedepartments may lose their workers. Deaths and other seriouscomplications are some of the direct effects of alcoholism which maymake Chevron loose skilled man power, hence slow its developmentrate.

Howthe company has tried to solve them

Chevron attempts to solve the issue of employee motivation by raisingtheir pay and benefits. The company had earlier noted that one of thereasons that some of their employees were not motivated was lack ofrewards or recognition. It is important for a company to haveprograms to allow managers to point out and reward exemplaryemployees. On way of rewarding such employees is by increasing theirpay. However, Herzberg’s two-factor theory criticizes the ideausing money and benefit can motivate such employees (Lingard &ampRowlinson, 2005). This theory goes in line with Maslow’s hierarchyof needs, which argues that an organization has to do more than justusing goodies to satisfy and motivate them.

One of the moves by Chevron to handle employee stress is intentionaljob design. This is the creation of jobs that provide meaning andstimulation for workers as well as opportunities for them to usetheir skills. According to the company’s website, they haveresources, plans and programs to help employees to manage theirmental and emotional health (, 2014).

Chevron,just as several other leading organizations, has approached the issueof alcoholism by establishing and promoting programs. Such is theEmployee Assistance Program (EAP), which has been identified as oneof the most effective ways of addressing alcohol and drug problems inthe workplaces (Dalton, Hoyle &amp Watts, 2010). In this program,employees and their family are provided assisted with resources andservices to deal with the problem. These include mental healthscreening tools, a stress management program and a mental health andsubstance abuse plan (MHSA).

Keysolutions and recommendations

One of the key solutions to solve employee motivation problems ischanging company policies and arbitrary barriers. These are the twomost significant organizational practices that affect other employeemotivation aspects such as appreciation and rewarding. These policieshave to be implemented because of their general effect and necessity,and may involve revision of organizational policies and eliminatingother arbitrary rules that kill employee motivation. It is essentialto instill policies and procedures that simplify the organizationalwork environment, instead of making it complicated and unfriendly.

The best proposed way to handle worker stress is taking a managerialoption in crafting the solutions. This is by implementingorganizational changes that the manager and employers can make toreduce workplace stress (Printing &amp Smith, 2005). One of the waysis improving communication between the management and the employees.The management can also make consultations with the employees andwhile at it, cultivate a friendly social climate at the workplace.

The key to solving alcoholism at Chevron is taking time to understandthe root of the problem and approaching each case independently.There are many reasons why the workers drink, for instance familyproblems, other illnesses and many more reasons. Therefore, insteadof taking an overall approach to the problem, getting to understandthe workers at a personal level is key to forming solutions, whichcan be effective and long lasting.

of recommendations and actions



Specific objectives

Change of company policies and arbitrary barriers


  1. Improving workplace ambience

  2. Employee satisfaction by 80%

  3. Work attendance increase by 90%

  4. Decrease alcoholism by 50%

Managerial intervention



Alcoholics engagement

Phone calls



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Dalton, M., Hoyle, D. &ampWatts, M. (2010). Humanrelations. Mason,OH: Cengage Learning.

Lingard, H. and Rowlinson, S.M. (2005). Occupational health andsafety in construction project management. Hoboken, NJ: Taylor &ampFrancis.

Pinder, C.C. (2014). Workmotivation in organizational behavior. NewYork: Psychology Press.

Printing, D.L. &amp Smith,J.C. (2005). Thestress management companion. NewYork, NY: Delta L Printing.

Sasson, R. (2014). Kack of motivation and enthusiasm. Retrievedon December 1 2014 from:

Seel, N.M. (2012).Encyclopedia of thesciences of learning. NewYork, NY: Springer Science &amp Business Media. (2014). Industrial and organizational psychology.Retrieved on December 1 from: