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Asian employees don’t trust leaders

Anuradha Shukla | Nov. 15, 2013
Lack of trust affects employee engagement and business, says a Forum survey.

Asian employees don't trust leaders, according to a newly released global Leadership Pulse Survey published by Forum.

Trust in leadership has decreased as compared to the past and one in five employees and two in five leaders agree with the statement.

The survey indicates that lack of trust affects employee engagement and business.  About 97 per cent of the leaders in Asia admit their mistakes and 99 percent apologise for them.

50 per cent of the employees said that their leaders rarely or never apologise.

"Employee trust in leadership is more important now than ever before as organisations grapple with mounting competitive, internal and external pressures," said Cynthia Stuckey, managing director of Forum in Asia-Pacific. "But we are seeing a decline in this critical element of the employee-manager relationship. This can be extremely detrimental as lack of trust directly reduces employee engagement and impacts morale and workforce productivity."

Seeing apology as weakness

Leaders in Asia don't want to apologise for their mistakes as they think saying sorry will be seen as a sign of their weakness.

67 per cent of leaders said apologising in front of others will make them look incompetent, and 25 per cent agreed they would look weak in front of their employees if they say sorry.

Although leaders hesitate to apologise for their mistakes they will lose the trust of their employees if they don't. However, they want to build trust as more than 96.5 per cent of leaders prioritize building trust with their employees.

61 percent of the employees want to talk and 54 percent want to listen and spend time to build trust.

"Trust is a critical component of a successful employee engagement strategy that increases productivity and performance," added Stuckey. "Building and strengthening trust in leadership is a multifaceted process that requires leaders to truly understand what their employees expect of them -- to act with integrity, to provide coaching, to communicate openly and to build a positive climate."

 

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