Corporate Scandals Damage Employee Trust
Survey results have revealed that corporate scandals are damaging trust in senior leaders and are having a negative affect on the attitudes of employees.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) polled more than 2,000 employees across the UK, quizzing them about their attitudes towards life and their level of engagement in their workplace.
The latest quarterly Employee Outlook survey from the CIPD found that only 36% of British workers trust their senior leaders and, potentially more worrying, more than half of the UK workforce polled (58%) are displaying a "not bothered" attitude towards their work.
Workers who are positively engaged at work are likely to work extra hours and "go the extra mile" for their employers. They are also more stable in their roles and less likely to look for work elsewhere. There was also a strong correlation between engagement and an understanding of a business’s core values.
However, employees who were "not bothered" were half as likely to do a little extra for their bosses and three times more inclined to be looking for a new job.
The findings were very much in line with the results of 2009’s McLeod Review which found that employee engagement was vital to ensure that British businesses succeed and remain competitive.
Chief Executive at the CIPD, Peter Cheese, said of the results:
"Given the number of examples reported in the media in recent months of unethical behaviours and corrosive cultures overseen by senior leaders, it is perhaps unsurprising to see trust in the workplace eroding. What’s worrying is the impact this will have on engagement. We know that strong employee engagement drives higher productivity and better business outcomes, so such a prominent display of ‘neutral engagement’ in the workplace should act as a real wake up call for employers."
Cheese added that businesses should be paying close attention to the impact that the behaviour of "top brass" has on their organisations and that firms need to be ready to improve the way business culture is affected by the "top down" attitudes.
The CIPD’s CEO also suggested that a change in leadership style might be a solution;
"Building trust in senior leaders and employee engagement requires a shift away from traditional command and control styles of leadership to a distributed leadership model where managers at all levels have the ability to win hearts and minds, and get the best out of their people in the service of the organisation."
To read the full report see the Employee Outlook: Summer 2012 (770k PDF)