Trust more important to employees

Workforce management

Trustworthiness and openness have overtaken clear communication as the number one attribute workers want from their managers, a new survey finds.

The ongoing Leadership, Education and Direction Survey of 3000 workers reveals communication is still highly regarded from managers, being ranked second on the survey’s Top 10 Characteristics of a Good Manager list.

A trustworthy boss became much more important in 2010, after having been ranked seventh in 2009.

Giving workers space to do their work while also remaining supportive moved from fifth place to equal second in importance. Regular and honest feedback fell from second place to fifth.

Leadership Management Australia managing director Grant Sexton says the marked change in what has been ranked at the top of the list presents new challenges for managers to meet the needs and expectations of their workers.

“Clearly if organisations want to improve the performance and productivity of their business, they must foster trust and embrace openness in their workplace,” Mr Sexton says.

The survey results suggest employees are frustrated with the lack of appreciation of their efforts and sacrifices that they have made to support their company through the difficulties of the economic downturn.

They expect managers to take a truthful and honest approach to what the future holds.

“This means managers need to demonstrate to employees that they are willing to listen to employees and their input in order to earn their trust,” Mr Sexton says. A manager who trusts their workers with challenging work is the least important attribute, ranked at number 10 on the list.

Mr Sexton says employees are willing to perform if they have the appropriate resources, support and feedback from managers.

The Advertiser, January 29, 2011

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