Recession responses impact trust

Sep 07 2010 by Brian Amble Print This Article

Surprise, surprise. New research by the UK-based Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) has found that employees whose organisations responded to the recession by slashing jobs and closing offices have far lower levels of trust in their CEOs than those whose employers took a more measured approach.

Some 5,000 employees were surveyed for the ILM's annual Index of Leadership Trust. The research found that organisations who have responded to the recession with office closures and involuntary redundancies saw trust in their CEO fall to 51 (on a scale of 1-100), compared to an average CEO trust score of 63.

In contrast, organisations that responded to the recession by taking steps such as introducing flexible working and budget cuts have seen trust in their CEOs rise, with an average score of 68.

Another finding is that female bosses have emerged well from the recession. Trust in female CEOs has increased by four points since the 2009 Index, with women more trusted as CEOs than men (scoring 66, compared to 63 for their male counterparts).

Male employees trust female CEOs more than they do male CEOs (68 compared with 63), with this figure rising eight points since 2009. Women score better than male CEOs in understanding employees' roles (59 compared with 52) and are also rated strongly in terms of ability (71) and integrity (70).