Build trust in senior leaders or risk losing talent, CIPD warns

Employers risk losing talented workers to other companies should they fail to tackle distrust in senior management, the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) has warned.

According to the CIPD’s quarterly “Employee outlook survey”, around half (47%) of employees who said that they strongly distrusted their directors or senior managers were looking for a new job, compared with fewer than one in 10 (8%) of those who said that they trusted management.

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The survey found that, overall, trust in leaders was low, with 34% of employees saying that they trusted their senior management teams and 38% saying that they did not, resulting in a net score of -4. However, there was significant regional variation.

Stress and job dissatisfaction were also linked to workers looking to change jobs, with 57% of employees who were unhappy in their role looking for a new employer and 39% of those who faced excessive pressure at work doing so.

Claire McCartney, resourcing and talent adviser at the CIPD, commented: “Trust forms a key part of the employment relationship and if employees feel there is a gap between what directors say and do, or that there is a lack of transparency of fairness in terms of how people are recognised and rewarded, they are likely to feel disenchanted.”

McCartney added that, with many organisations facing tough times, issues such as organisational culture and values often “take a back seat”.

“Some employers may also feel they don’t have to work as hard to keep their people because there are fewer opportunities in the labour market that will allow employees to jump ship,” she explains. “However, vacancies still exist for motivated and skilled staff and employers risk losing their valued employees – those most able to compete in a tough labour market.”

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