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UK – 13% distrust their line manager

24 February 2011

New research carried out by performance development consultancy Lane4 shows that the wave of redundancies, restructuring and changes in senior leadership in UK companies over the last 12 months has led to 13% of workers actively expressing distrust in their line manager with 21% trusting them less than last year.

Other findings are:

• 93% say that trust in line management is important to performance, but one in eight (13%) distrust their line manager and 21% trust them less than last year.

• 10% of people trust their line managers over their senior leadership in the last year, 32% said that they trust their senior team leaders less than last year.

• 87% agreed that trust in leadership is essential for employees to perform at their best.

• 26% (one in four) think about leaving the organisation if they do not trust their leaders.

• Employees doubt 30% of communication from their leadership.

• Whilst employees understand that leaders can't share all of the facts (87%), such as decisions regarding changes in the organisation without consultation, 94%feel as though they should be told difficult messages and 70% would rather know about changes as soon as possible.

• Leaders have built trust by showing personal interest in employees (53%), and delivering on promises (52%).

• The highest way leaders have broken trust over the past 12 months is 'being out of touch with what is happening on the shop floor' (58%), followed by 'saying one thing and doing another' (57%).

• Leadership communication is most trustworthy when senior people are behaving in a manner that is consistent with the message. This behaviour is deemed more trustworthy than formal written communications or even information on a company website or intranet.

Adrian Moorhouse, Lane4 Managing Director, commented "trust is crucial in the workplace, impacting job satisfaction, organisational commitment, team work and ultimately performance. Trust in leaders is a key part of this and in its absence, employees waste time on unproductive behaviour such as worrying about security, covering their backs and information hoarding."

"In order to build trust further, leaders need to focus on what they do, communication, delivering on promises, being visible, and that  they are consistent, driven by integrity and interested in their employees. Only then will they truly win the hearts and minds of their people."

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