Many employees don't trust their boss

Sept. 13, 2007
A study of 7,209 executives, managers, and employees indicates that many employees don't trust their own top management.

Leadership IQ, ( which does leadership training for corporations, ran the survey to assess the overall levels of trust in organizations. Only 20% of people strongly trust their top management. 36% moderately trust their executives, while the remaining 44% range from not trusting to strongly distrusting.

The study further discovered that people trusted their direct boss more than top management. 34% of people strongly trust their direct boss. Another 35% trusted moderately, while the rest either didn't trust or strongly distrusted their direct boss.

But does it really matter? Apparently, it does. The study revealed that an employee's longevity with a company directly correlates with how much they trust management. Approximately 32% of a worker's desire to stay or go depends on whether or not they trust their boss.

"Trust is much more than a nice buzzword," says Mark Murphy, Leadership IQ CEO. "The extent to which an employee trusts their immediate superior directly relates to their desire to spend their career with a company."

There is good news, however. The study also identified five aspects of trust that were the best predictors of employee loyalty (listed in order of importance):

  1. When sharing a work-related problem, their direct boss responds constructively.
  2. The direct boss makes smart decisions.
  3. The direct boss is honest and truthful.
  4. The direct boss helps employees grow and develop professionally.
  5. Employees receive consistent direction from their direct boss.

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