September 26, 2014
Maintaining high levels of trust at work helps to foster an engaged and productive atmosphere, finds a new report by the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM), which reveals the youngest generation to be the most trusting and those working within the public sector the least trusting. The truth about trust, honesty and integrity at work found that the millennial generation of managers (born 1981 onwards), are the most likely to trust those within their organisation (54%), followed by baby boomers (born between 1946–1964), almost half of whom (45%) say they trust everyone or almost everyone. Generation X, those born between 1965–1980, had the lowest level of respondents saying they trust everyone or almost everyone (44%) at work. The research also reveals that the five fundamental skills and qualities that leaders need in order to be trusted are openness, effective communication, the ability to make decisions, integrity and competence in their role.
The research reveals a pronounced difference in trust levels across different industries and sectors. The public sector is suffering from a trust shortfall, with just 29% net high trust compared to the private (45%) and third (46%) sectors, suggesting that the budget cuts, wage freezes and mass redundancies experienced have had a real impact on trust levels. Over one in 10 (12%) public sector managers say they trust ‘absolutely no one’ or ‘very few’ people.
As managers progress through the ranks in their organisations, they typically become both more trusting and more trusted. Senior managers have the highest levels of trust in their organisation (49% net high trust) compared to middle managers (38%), and senior leaders also express higher levels of trust in their own manager, teams and colleagues across a range of factors when compared to middle management colleagues.
The research highlights five fundamental skills and qualities that leaders need in order to be trusted. The most important driver of trust is openness – 70 per cent of respondents to the survey rank it as one of their top three drivers of trust. This is followed by effective communication (53%), the ability to make decisions (49%), integrity (48%) and competence in their role (42%).
Charles Elvin CEO, Institute of Leadership & Management Trust commented: “Trust underpins effective working relationships. The more someone trusts a colleague, manager or team member, the greater the likelihood they will co-operate, share information and work effectively together.”
To download the report click here: