Over one quarter of employees do not trust their CEO to be honest and transparent

A new poll claims that over one quarter (26 percent) of employees in the UK do not trust their CEO to be open and honest, while 24 percent do not trust their senior leadership to do the same. According to the survey of 2,000 employees in the UK from Personio, transparency and employer-employee communication are pivotal to a positive employee experience and trust in the workplace. The research suggests that feeling unheard by leadership could be fuelling employees’ distrust. Over a quarter (28 percent) of employees surveyed say that they are not given a chance to share feedback to leadership on their experiences. Meanwhile, less than half (46 percent) of employees feel that leadership in their organisation actually listens and acts on any feedback when given from staff.

Nearly two-thirds (61 percent) of respondents do not feel that their current level of pay and remuneration has kept pace with inflation and the cost of living, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that over half (56 percent) of employees are more likely to discuss their pay with colleagues because of these factors.

The data suggests that transparency around pay and other factors, including rewards and promotions, could drive improved performance. 63 percent of employees say that they would be more motivated to work for a promotion if they had more clarity on their potential pay and remuneration. Meanwhile, a third (33 percent) would be motivated to work harder or be more productive by knowing they have the opportunity for a promotion, pay rise or bonus within the next year. Beyond the next 12 months, over a quarter (26 percent) report that a clear timescale or plan for a promotion or pay rise would incentivise them to do the same.

Beyond motivation, the data shows that there is a direct correlation between high levels of transparency in an organisation and employee engagement. The 5 percent of employees that perceive their organisation to be ‘very transparent’ across several factors (pay at all levels, the results of employee surveys, training budgets and opportunities, and non-salary rewards and compensation)  are most likely to report high satisfaction, performance, and, crucially, loyalty compared to other employees surveyed. 91 percent of these employees report high productivity and motivation at work.

Pete Cooper, Director of People Partners & DEI at Personio, comments: “Trust in leadership is fundamental to creating a culture where people feel invested in a company’s growth and success – and listening to employees is key to building this trust. Providing opportunities for employees to give regular feedback, for example through surveys and pulse polls, is an important way to engage employees. But it needs to be a two way conversation, and leadership needs to communicate with employees to show that feedback is being listened to and taken seriously.”