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We don't believe our boss

We don't believe our boss

May 2009 - British managers are struggling to win the trust of their people - one in six of the UK professional workforce don't believe a word their employer says, according to our latest figures.

Only 15% of the 1,005 workers that took part in the study were willing to admit that they totally trusted their manager, leaving a startling 85% of us wary of at least some of the information we receive from higher up the organisation.

One of the knock-on results of this mistrust is a ramping up of the office rumour-mill. One in four workers reported an increase in company gossip since the recession has taken hold - a figure that goes up to 49% amongst banking and finance professionals.

As well as the banking and finance sector, the Midlands seem to excel in this corporate mistrust. Nearly a third (32%) of workers in the Midlands don't believe anything their employer/manager tells them, with a further 56% sceptical of at least some of what they're told.

These figures should come as a wake up call to employers and managers throughout the country. A lack of trust will result in a disengaged workforce, and one that harbours little loyalty to the organisation. There will be very little willingness to go the extra mile during the working day. Once the economy picks up and job opportunities start becoming more widespread, the employers with the lowest levels of trust could also see many of their most valued people leave.

Our research also reveals that where tough decisions have been made in the company's interest - such as redundancies, pay freezes and reduced hours contracts - these decisions have been poorly communicated in most instances.

Neil Wilson, managing director at Badenoch & Clark says, "There must be a willingness and ability to communicate openly and honestly with your people. Explain the thinking behind major decisions. Ensure there's an opportunity for your people to ask questions and, more importantly, get answers."