Eight out of 10 UK employees do not trust their manager

More than two-thirds of UK employees do not trust their manager, new research has found.

A survey of 1,800 employees, conducted by YouGov on behalf of people development agency Investors in People, found that almost 80% felt their manager had let them down in the recent past.

The research found that managers were most likely to let down employees by failing to provide the support they need to do their job (49%). A similar number (48%) of respondents said managers failed to respond to their concerns and (45%) said mangers withheld information that affected them.

Simon Jones, acting head of Investors in People UK, said a lack of trust in UK workplaces is a major concern. “Trust is fundamental to building and maintaining effective relationships between managers and teams, and the bedrock of success. However, as our research shows, less than one-third of employees have complete trust in their manager,” he said.

“Managers must take heed and redouble their efforts to build trust among their people, understanding their concerns, communicating more regularly, and being more honest with employees,” he added.

Related research found that more than four in 10 UK employees thinks that their employer treats them fairly when it comes to issues such as internal communications, training, appraisals and work-life balance.

The GfK Fairness Index, questioning over 1,000 employees from a range of industries, found the professional services industry to be the least trusted, with 39% of respondents uncertain about their employer’s ‘fairness’.

Topping the table was state education, with over 70% of employees from state schools and colleges believing their employers to be fair.

Leo Martin, founding director of GoodCorporation, the firm that sponsored the survey, said the results have been extremely revealing. “From our assessment work we see a clear link between responsible business behaviour and profitability. It’s time British businesses woke up to this.”

Lord Sharman, chairman of Aviva and former global head of KPMG said: “I welcome the findings of GoodCorporation’s Mirror Mirror survey, but was disappointed to see Professional Services companies performing so badly.

“For an industry that spends much of its time advising others on how to run their businesses, this was a very poor performance indeed. While some of the larger professional service firms have made great strides in adopting good business practice, there is clearly a lot of work to do,” he said.


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