Human Capital & Careers

Employees Losing Confidence in Managers

A new study finds that while employee ratings of senior managers rose sharply from 2002 to 2004, lately they've taken a dip.
Stephen TaubJanuary 4, 2007

Only 49 percent of U.S. workers have trust and confidence in the performance of their companies’ senior managers, according to a new report from Watson Wyatt Worldwide.

The consultancy surveyed 12,205 full-time U.S. workers across all job levels and major industries. The results represent a dip from the 51 percent who expressed “trust and confidence” when Watson Wyatt last conducted this survey, in 2004.

Indeed, while employee ratings of senior managers rose sharply from 2002 to 2004, according to Watson Wyatt, respondents to the 2006/2007 survey were less impressed with their bosses on many counts than they were last time around:

• 53 percent said that senior management makes the changes necessary for the company to stay competitive, down from 57 percent in 2004
• 66 percent said they have confidence in the company’s long-term success, down from 69 percent
• 55 percent said they believe senior management takes steps to control costs, down from 59 percent
• 55 percent said senior management behaves consistently with the company’s core vales, down from 57 percent
• 43 percent said that senior managers take an active, visible role in communicating with employees, down from 45 percent

“This dip in ratings is concerning because employees’ attitudes about their senior leaders are a key factor in building engagement,” said Ilene Gochman, national practice director for organization effectiveness at Watson Wyatt, in a press release. “People want to work for companies where they have confidence in the organization and trust what senior management is doing. Fostering that trust is especially important in today’s global market as it creates an environment in which employees understand that changes to the workplace may be necessary to remain competitive.”