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Chief executives not trusted by workers, survey finds

2 September 2009

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A third of workers do not trust their senior managers, especially if they work in large public sector organisations, a study has found.

The Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) surveyed 5,600 workers and reported that line managers were trusted far more than chief executive officers.

It appears that senior managers in charity and retail businesses enjoy the highest levels of trust, but those in the media and national and local government were trusted least.

The report said that chief executives need to demonstrate more ability and integrity, while workers want their line managers to show their understanding, fairness and integrity.

ILM’s chief executive Penny de Valk said: “Trust is crucial to the performance of an organisation, and a cornerstone of good leadership. Teams are more effective in a trusting environment, and people work better and harder if they trust their leaders.

“For leaders, being good at their job is simply not enough anymore. The more senior you are, the more the gap between what you say and what you do – or what you don’t say or do – is amplified. In recessionary times, employees are anxious and this spotlight will be yet further intensified.”

Copyright © Press Association 2009