by Manchester Consulting, a Pennsylvania company that offers coaching in "trust-based leadership."
Three-quarters of executives at 215 companies who responded to the
firm's survey said trust had declined, while only 15 percent said trust
"Trust in corporate America is at a low point," said Manchester Senior V.P. Lew Stern. "Employees feel they have had little input into major changes that have affected them, and they believe they can no longer look to their employers for job security. Senior managers must go out of their way to interact, understand, and serve as examples by what they say and do."
Other interesting findings:
Male executives rated the level of trust at their work places
higher than female executives did for their companies.
Organizations that "downsized" during the past two years
received the lowest trust rating, while those that merged with
another business also scored below the average.
It takes an average of seven months for the executives in the
survey to build their trust in a leader, but less than half that
time - about three months - for them to lose trust in one.
The level of trust was best between front-line employees and
their immediate supervisors. The level of trust was worst
between front-line employees and top-level executives.
The manufacturing industry received the highest trust rating,
while the telecommunications industry received the lowest
The five best ways for leaders to build trust are to maintain integrity, openly communicate their vision and values, show respect for employees as equal \ partners, focus on shared goals more than
Personal agendas, and do the right thing regardless of personal risk.
The five quickest ways to lose trust are to act inconsistently in what they say and do, seek personal gain above shared gain, withhold information, lie or tell half-truths, and be close-minded.
"What many business leaders today don't realize is that trust can make the difference between retaining employees and customers - and losing them to the competition," says Stern. "A high level of workplace trust can have a significant impact on the bottom line, as well as on the people a business must rely on to get the job done."