Trust Gap between Managers and Workers — How to Drive Engagement



While it’s true there are companies that are aware that good morale among employees propels profits, many businesses are missing opportunities for growth.

It’s not because of marketing. It has to do with internal issues. Why?

There’s still a wide gap between what managers and workers think about trust, according to a 2013 study, “The Forum Corporation’s global Leadership Pulse Survey.”

Based in Boston, The Forum Corporation is a leadership and sales training firm.

For example, the study shows only 8 percent of workers trust their bosses “to a great extent.” More than a third, 37 percent of employees, trust managers less than they have in previous years.


More than 90 percent of managers believe employee trust is vital, “more than 65 percent of employees rate their level of trust in their leaders as moderate at best,” reveals the study.

Eighty-nine percent of managers also state they’re great at apologizing for mistakes, less than 20 percent of employees agree. 

While such conclusions from a training firm might appear to be self-serving and of dubious value, the study’s results are accurate in my experience as a business-performance consultant.

Employees aren’t always right but neither are managers. 

The study provides more findings with solutions. 

Seven mistakes leaders make:

1. Being inconsistent

2. Lying/lacking transparency

3. Lacking leadership skills

4. Taking undue credit/passing blame

5. Talking behind employees’ backs

6. Not “walking the talk”

7. Poor communication/interpersonal skills

Advice from employees:

1. Act with integrity

2. Listen/demonstrate care

3. “Walk the talk”

4. Demonstrate trust and empowerment

5. Encourage/recognize hard work

6. Provide clear and consistent messages/vision

7. Give constructive feedback/coaching

From the Coach’s Corner, more HR management solutions:

15 HR Strategies to Improve Your Business Performance — Studies show many employees are dissatisfied in their workplaces. Employee dissatisfaction, of course, will adversely affect a company’s performance. A lack of employee engagement means: Higher costly turnover; less focus on customer service; less productivity; and weak profits. The dissatisfaction is global and the trend is likely to continue unless businesses improve their approach.

Profit Drivers – How and Why to Partner with Your Employees — If you want maximum profit, consider partnering with your employees. “Key employees – in fact, all employees – will be more valuable to a company if they understand what drives profit and improves cash flow for the business,” says leading financial consultant Roni Fischer.

Secrets in Motivating Employees to Offer Profitable Ideas — Savvy employers know how to profit from their human capital. Such knowledge is a powerful weapon for high performance in a competitive marketplace. Furthermore, there’s a correlation among excellent sales, happy customers, and high employee morale. Proverbially speaking, employees are where the tire meets the road. They daily experience firsthand a wide variety of problems – including dysfunction from vendors, shortcomings of software, aggravations of customers, poor intra-company communication and dangers facing your company.

Tips for Marketing Your HR-Policy Changes to Employees — So you’ve identified workplace policies that need to be updated. But you want your policies to be accepted and followed by your employees. Employees are often uncomfortable with change even if it’s necessary for a business turnaround. Remember high morale among employees propels profits. You might recall the hysteria over Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s telecommuting ban.

Easy Ways to Boost Your Employees’ Morale — Employee morale affects performance. Study after study shows a significant percentage of worker morale is mediocre, at best. That’s often the case even for companies that are able to pay competitive wages and benefits. As you might guess, it’s a bigger quandary for business owners that don’t have enough cash flow for raises. There are strategies you can implement.

Strategies: If a Valued Employee Wants a Raise, and Money’s Tight — In this economy, whether you operate a large or small company, trepidation of higher payroll expenses can turn your hands cold with perspiration. That’s especially true when talented employees suddenly ask for a raise. Talented workers are an asset – your human capital. Many companies don’t have a compensation policy. And your company might be like the majority of small businesses or nonprofits in this uncertain economy – having difficulty funding even merit raises.

“The best morale exist when you never hear the word mentioned. When you hear a lot of talk about it, it’s usually lousy.”

-Dwight D. Eisenhower


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry. 




Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.