Do Manager Relationships Lack Trust?

In Waggl’s latest “Voice of the Workplace” pulse, business professionals were asked to weigh in about a juicy topic that affects every workplace: Trust.

Interestingly,  this study found that 37% percent of the participants in this pulse said that they do not trust their immediate supervisor to make decisions with their best interest in mind. By way of contrast, 76% percent of the participants said that they trust their co-workers to follow through on their responsibilities and to keep the team’s best interests in mind; 84% percent said that they trust and believe in the mission of their organization; and 81% reported that their company trusts them to do their job well when working autonomously.

Here are some of the other key findings:

  • Supervisor trust levels are highest in the nonprofit industry (80%), and among the youngest participants, ages 26-40 (74%). They were lowest in the advertising/marketing industry (40%) and among participants 41-55 years of age (55%).
  • Co-worker trust levels are highest on the West Coast (92%), and in the technology industry (90%). They are lowest in the South (58%) and in the nonprofit industry (60%).
  • Organizational trust levels are highest in the South (100%) and among the oldest participants, ages 56-70 (88%). Respondents from the nonprofit and advertising/marketing industries responded unanimously that they trust the mission of their organizations.
  • Autonomy levels are highest in the nonprofit industry (90%) and among participants age 26-40 (87%). They are lowest in the advertising/marketing industry (60%) and on the East Coast (74%).
  • Trust levels are relatively equal in terms of gender, although men reported slightly higher levels of co-worker trust (82%) than women (73%).

Waggl also posed the question, “What could my organization do to inspire higher levels of trust?” and distilled crowdsourced responses into a ranked list. The top 3 answers were:

  • “Become more transparent. Conduct direct and candid conversations rather than message indirectly through others.”
  • “Upskill ‘people’ managers with the skills and knowledge to empower their people and lead by example, taking more of a coaching role than an old-fashioned ‘boss.’”
  • “Remove unnecessary hierarchy, communicate more clearly, be more honest about things we get wrong and what we are doing about them.”

In our current era of continual business disruption and change, cultivating a high level of trust is more important than ever, in order for an organization to achieve agility and growth.  As these pulse responses indicate, the best path to developing trust between individuals is to make a commitment to open, transparent communication, which in turn leads to more authentic relationships between employees, their immediate supervisors, and the larger organization. Creating an open, transparent forum for 2-way dialogue builds connection, collaboration and alignment across the organization.

Waggl offers a regular Voice of The Workplace pulse that you can participate in. When you participate, you are able to see what your peers are saying in real-time and at the end, you can see a comprehensive infographic of the data.

To share your thoughts in the current pulse on Diversity, click here.