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Trust by employees for leaders is rising

The Institute of Leadership and Management has conducted research on Leadership Trust. The trust index reveals the extent to which leaders and line managers are trusted by their employees. The good news is that for the three years from 2009 to 2011, trust by employees for managers and leaders has been rising.

However, the more distant employees felt from their team boss or their senior leaders, the less likely they were to trust them. The more visible leaders were, the more they walked the talk, the more open and understanding they were, the more they were trusted. It was clear from the Institute’s study that leaders were making much more effort in these areas. The report notes that:

‘There is still plenty of room for improvement, though. Trust is the ultimate leadership commodity; you can never have enough of it. And the index highlights several areas in which leaders can focus to further build their trust capital. In order to continue to close the distance between themselves and their employees they would benefit from even greater visibility and stronger relationships with the workforce. By continuing to focus on good communication, visibility and accessibility, leaders must try to maintain the progress they have made.’

The ILM worried, however, about the trust marks that line managers were receiving. ‘Line managers are invariably more visible to employees. As such we would expect line managers to be significantly more trusted than senior leaders. However the latest index shows that managers have not kept pace in improving their trust capital.’

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