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Forum Global Leadership Survey

Helen Mayson

FORUM Global Leadership Survey

Only 5% of UK employees and 3% in EMEA get an apology from their boss whenever they make a mistake, which is affecting levels of trust in leaders and employee engagement according to a global survey by The Forum Corporation

Forum's Global Leadership Pulse Survey, out on Monday 11 November 2013,  found that there's currently a significant trust gap between how staff view their managers and how managers think their staff view them.

One area where bosses fell down in the survey was in saying sorry – 49% of staff claim their boss never or rarely apologises for their mistakes, yet in contrast nearly 60% of UK managers believe they always say sorry.
 
According to Forum's global survey the most frequent things bosses do to damage employee trust are:

  • Lying,
  • Taking credit for others’ ideas or blaming employees unfairly,
  • Gossiping,
  • Poor communication
  • Lack of clarity

While being able to trust your boss was very important for 93% of the employees surveyed, 30% of UK staff say they trust their managers less today than they have in the past. Leaders had an even more cynical view than the employees, with 38% of managers saying that employees trust their managers less now than in the past. Overall, less than 5% percent of employees said they trust their leaders “to a very great extent” today. 
 
“When managers aren’t transparent in their actions – and that includes accepting responsibility for errors, being truthful with their employees and acknowledging hard work – that tends to breed mistrust among employees,” said Graham Scrivener, Managing Director of Forum EMEA. “Lack of employee engagement is a huge issue among UK workers and our research found that employees who register low levels of trust at work, are also the most likely group to report low engagement.”
 
The study found that whilst trust in the UK workplace has suffered in recent years, there are certain actions that both employers and employees agree can bolster trust in addition to acknowledging personal mistakes. According to the survey, the four most effective tactics for inspiring trust are:

  • Listening to employees and understanding their concerns
  • Walking the talk – managers doing as they say
  • Following through on commitments
  • Encouraging employees to offers ideas and suggestions

We caught up with Scrivener to discuss the results of the survey.

Forum Global Leadership Survey

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