Employees distrust senior leaders due to poor communication

Senior leaders who have failed to communicate empathetically with their teams during coronavirus have created distrust within the workplace, leading to staff looking for new jobs.

A quarter (26%) of UK employees are reportedly looking to change jobs due to distrusting their senior leaders, according to new research by PR firm Brands2Life.

Just half (50%) of British workers are confident in the leadership teams running the company they work for, with only 56% of UK workers saying their leaders have communicated a vision or plan for the organisation to succeed beyond the pandemic to employees.

More on employee trust:

Nearly a quarter don't trust HR

How to build trust in organisations

Employees more likely to trust employers’ return to work plans than government guidance

The pandemic has led to employees looking for increased communication, empathy and transparency from senior leaders.

Eighty-three per cent of employees who believed their senior leaders were transparent about the impact of the pandemic were also confident in their organisation’s leadership team.

Similarly, 70% of employees who said their leaders have communicated with empathy throughout also expressed confidence in the senior leadership team.

Joanna Tagg, head of people at Brands2Life, said that communication and transparency are fundamental within an organisation.

Speaking to HR magazine, she said: “Too often internal communications is put in the ‘nice to have’ bucket, when really it is essential.

“Employees don’t expect to be privy to all business discussions, but they can’t be kept in the dark either. This is especially true in uncertain times, such as the current pandemic.”

Tagg said that internal engagement should be considered a central part of staff wellbeing strategies and will go a long way to building trust amongst the workforce.

“There are a wide variety of tactics to achieve this; from regular newsletters or updates from senior leaders, to town hall meetings, to more intimate Q&A sessions with senior leaders, or staff surveys.

“The golden rule for all internal communications is transparency,” she said.