One In Four Employees Don't Trust Their Bosses - Here's How To Rebuild The Relationship

Don’t be a horrible boss. Picture: Warner Bros

Do you trust your boss?

It seems that many employees don’t and more are joining them each year.

A quarter say they trust their boss less this year than they did last year, according to the 6th annual Building Workplace Trust survey of 500 people commissioned by Interaction Associates, a workplace performance improvement firm.

The survey, which looks at the impact of leadership, trust, and collaboration on business performance and results, also found only 45% agree with the statement “my organisation has effective leadership”.

We trust our co-workers

More than half (54%) say they feel safe talking about their ideas and opinions with colleagues and peers but only 38% feel the same when it comes to trusting their managers.

Donna Meredith, principal of Interaction Associates Australasia, says: “These results are alarming, especially in light of the importance people place on trusting their leadership. Some 82% of all respondents say that trusting their boss is essential for them to be effective in their job.”

Meredith has attributed the drop in trust to “the traumatic run of world events over the last year”.

“What you will find is that in times of uncertainty, some leaders tend to keep information hidden from employees inevitably creating an information vacuum,” she said.

“Successful leaders build trust by maintaining levels of transparency around key decisions and explaining business strategy and admitting mistakes.”

Companies with leaders trusted by the staff are more than two-and-a-half times more likely to lead in revenue growth.

It also found that these companies significantly outperform all other organisations in achieving key business goals, including customer loyalty and retention, competitive market position, ethical behaviour and actions, predictable business and financial results, and profit growth.

The report makes suggestions, from the point of view of staff, on how managers can rebuild trust.

Here are the top five:

    1. Ask for input into decisions that affect me
    2. Give me background information so I can understand decisions
    3. Set me up for success with learning and resources
    4. Admit your mistakes
    5. Don’t punish people for raising issues (Don’t shoot the messenger.)

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