Don't Trust the Higher-Ups? You're Not Alone

Posted by The Editors on July 14, 2011
Don't Trust the Higher-Ups? You're Not Alone

Today I stumbled upon a startling statistic: Only 14 percent of Americans believe their employer’s leaders are ethical and honest. The same poll found that only 12 percent of employees believe their employer genuinely listens to and cares about its employees.

While it’s hardly news that top-tier management hasn’t exactly earned a reputation as being trustworthy in recent years (see: the recession of 2008), trust in management is one of the most important and—I think—overlooked factors when it comes to job satisfaction and engagement. 

The study, conducted by Maritz Research, a leader in employee satisfaction research, echoes this thought. Additional findings reveal that even though it’s almost three years since the onset of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, the American workforce remains less engaged with their employers than they did one year ago, largely because they trust senior leaders less.

Having trust in your CEO, CFO, board of directors, and even your boss is perhaps one of the most important elements of a harmonious and efficient workplace.

So how do you find an employer with a management team you can trust?

  1. Start in the interview. When the interviewer asks if you have any questions, a good one to ask is “What’s the relationship like between management and the other employees?”
  2. Check the corporate transparency. If the company you’re pursuing is publicly traded, gauge the amount of financial and corporate information the public has access to.
  3. Use your network. If you have an existing connection at the company, ask for his or her honest opinion about the organization’s upper  level management.
  4. Google, google, and google some more. If you know the names of the board members, CEO, etc., search for any articles or other information that could give you some insight into the kind of leaders they are. If they’ve been involved in any sticky situations, it will be covered in the news.

In truth, it’s often very hard to judge whether your employer and management team will be “ethical and honest” until you start working there (and even then, it takes time), but with some research you can often get a feel for what you’re getting yourself into before you start.

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