Staff don't trust senior executives

Feb 16 2007 by Nic Paton Print This Article

Senior executives might like to congratulate themselves that they are well on the way up the career ladder, but they shouldn't expect to get much admiration or respect from the people below them.

Many of us may grumble about our managers behind their backs, but we still rate them more highly than senior executives within their organisation, a new survey has revealed,.

What's more, the study by recruiters Robert Half International and, found employees also trust their managers much more than they do senior executives.

The poll of 3,000 people found that nearly half – 48 per cent – of workers said they were satisfied with their corporate leaders' performance, but this was a full eight percentage points lower than those who said the same about their bosses.

Likewise, while six out of 10 workers believed their bosses could be trusted, only four out of 10 said the same about their corporate leaders.

Just over a third – 36 per cent – said those at the top led by example, and only 34 per cent believed their corporate leaders were effective at motivating staff.

"The higher up the ranks an executive goes, the more challenging it becomes to communicate with staff," said Rosemary Haefner, vice-president of human resources at

"Line managers have the benefit of being able to build rapport through daily interactions, whereas corporate executives typically must rely on more formal communication channels, which may not always be as effective," she added.

Despite this, more than half of those polled also said they were, overall, satisfied with the performance of their bosses, while 28 per cent were unhappy with their supervisors.

Similarly, six out of 10 said they could trust their managers, compared with a fifth who believed their supervisors were not trustworthy.

And, contradicting survey suggesting many workers are frustrated at being denied the reins of power, fewer than a quarter of workers felt they could do a better job than their bosses if put in charge, the poll found.