Why don’t we trust our boss? Does it matter if we do?
Well, it’s not unanimous, but about 50% of Americans don’t trust their boss. Humans don’t seem to instinctively trust each other. Perhaps it is not in our genetic makeup. According to Watson Wyatt’s workplace survey (“Weathering the Storm: A Study of Employee Attitudes and Opinions”), only 50 percent of American workers have trust and confidence in the job being done by their organizations’ leaders.
So we might trust their character, but not their competency. We think they are virtuous people, but they just don’t know what they are doing. Or it might be the other way around. We may trust their ability to lead the organization, but we’re not comfortable with their principals and values.
It makes sense then as leaders, we should be doing everything we can to become more trustworthy. But how? We earn others’ trust over time. To earn trust, leaders need to be trustworthy. Effective leaders engender trust by making and keeping commitments. They ensure their words and deeds are aligned with the best interest of the business. They follow up on decisions made and ensure meeting actions are accomplished. These same leaders know that when they make commitments to people and keep those commitments, they will be regarded as trustworthy. They also demand the same from their workforce. Building trust is not difficult, but it does take effort. It’s that simple.