Trust in managers in short supply

Nineteen per cent of employees “rarely” trust their managers to make the best decisions, and  as many as 57 per cent say they only “occasionally” trust their managers, according to a recent survey by Right Management.
The firm analyzed responses from more than 4,000 individuals throughout North America via an online poll conducted in partnership with LinkedIn.
“It is disturbing that only one-in-five employees ‘always’ trust their managers to make the best decisions,” says Douglas Matthews, president and COO at Right Management. “Employees at many companies are being strained by the level of change and restructuring in recent months. Effectively communicating change happening at the company can ease that strain and is at the heart of building and maintaining trust.  Clearly, communication could be improved.”
Among key findings:
  • Thirty-one per cent of senior executives (C-level and VP) “always” trust mangers’ decisions compared to only 22 per cent of non-management employees.
  • Employees at smaller companies are more likely to trust their managers’ decisions (26 per cent reporting “always”) compared to those at larger firms (only 20 per cent reporting “always”).
  • Twenty-seven per cent of workers aged 55+ “rarely” trust managers to make the best decisions, versus 15 per cent of 18-24 year olds.
Matthews says that trust is a two-way street. “Employees need to trust that their managers have the capability to make the organization a success. And in return, managers must show that they have a plan, can articulate the plan to employees, and demonstrate that the plan is being implemented effectively. And in turn, leaders must also show that they trust employees to help drive the organization forward and make them valued partners in a common purpose. Employees want to know what the bigger picture is, and importantly, how they can contribute to that vision.”
“Trust is a key ingredient to produce high levels of employee commitment, pride and advocacy to both the job and the firm,” says Matthews. “Without it, engagement levels drop, as does company performance and profitability.”
Right Management surveyed 4,334 individuals via an online poll on LinkedIn® conducted between May 11, 2010 and May 19, 2010.
Right Management is the talent and career management expert within Manpower, the global leader in employment services. Right Management helps clients win in the changing world of work by designing and executing workforce solutions that align talent strategy with business strategy. Our expertise spans Talent Assessment, Leader Development, Organizational Effectiveness, Employee Engagement, and Workforce Transition and Outplacement. With offices in over 50 countries, Right Management partners with companies of all sizes. More than 80 per cent of Fortune 500 companies are currently working with us to help them grow talent, reduce costs and accelerate performance.