There are a variety of reasons a working professional might not trust their manager. And today we’ll be working our way through them to help you understand what causes an employee/employer relationship to break down.

A quarter of workers worldwide don’t trust their manager, compared to 27% in the UK. While this is a significant improvement over the previous survey, trust in the workplace is still a major issue. According to the PwC Annual Global CEO survey in 2017, 55% of CEOs expressed concern about distrust in the workplace.

A lack of support at work erodes manager trust

Lack of trust can stem from employees feeling they aren’t being given enough support to manage stress. Orr professional training to advance in their careers. Staff want to believe that their employer has their best interests at heart. Loyalty suffers when people don’t have the help or feedback needed, or opportunities to develop.

In 2018, a survey by the independent charity Health @ Work found that the majority of employers failed to meet basic standards of mental health support for their employees. On top of that, they found that although 93% of employers rate workplace wellbeing as an important issue, over a third of companies have no support system in place for their staff. We need to start practicing what we preach.

Poor mental health

Dr Barbara Mariposa from Work Well Being, says stress and musculoskeletal problems are connected to poor mental health. There are the two largest causes of workplace absenteeism.

What many people don’t realize is that the biggest proportion of these issues are attributed to presenteeism. That’s turning up at work when you are ill, and/or underperforming because of stress, long hours, excessive workloads, lack of control, and poor working relations.

All of these factors are precursors to poor mental health, which has a massive cost at a personal level before we even talk about the costs to business. Low morale, more errors, reduced productivity, lack of trust, conflict, long-term absence, litigation, and recruiting new staff. The list is a long one.

Lack of career progression

A lack of career support and professional training can lead to high staff turnover. 40% of departing employees cited lack of future career development as a “dissatisfying factor” to their job. With more than a quarter of respondents actively seeking new employment.

Research by Gartner HR Practice Group has shed some light on this issue. Their study shows that since 2008, many companies have simplified their corporate structures by reducing the amount of middle management roles, resulting in fewer opportunities for progression.

Gartner HR Vice President Brian Knopp, said: “Attrition has always been costly for companies. But in many industries the cost of losing employees is rising, due to tight labor markets and the increasingly collaborative nature of jobs. If employees don’t see you investing in their future with you, they’re going to look somewhere else.”

Managers don’t know what they’re doing at a cost of £19bn a year

Ineffective management can be one of the biggest concerns going into a new workplace. The 2019 CIPD annual Health and Well-Being at Work Survey Report found that 37% of UK businesses have seen an increase in stress-related absences due to poor management and overwork in the last year.

Over four-fifths of the survey’s respondents said they had witnessed “presenteeism”. Two-thirds had witnessed staff using holiday time to catch up on work. With 55% saying their employers had done nothing to address the issue.

A white paper by CMI highlights the fact that lack of proper management training has become a major issue in the UK. The vast majority of employers have struggled to recruit professionals with key management skills. 70% are not giving first-time managers the proper training, and in 2015, a quarter of all job openings were left vacant due to employers being unable to satisfy their recruitment criteria.

The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills has found that loss of productivity due to poor management and leadership costs the UK economy approximately £19bn a year.

The only way to overcome this is through investment in proper management training initiatives. Petra Wilson, CMI’s Director of Strategy, promotes learning like the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship.

Training isn’t the only issue, but it’s a great place to start

Of course, there are plenty of other things that can negatively affect an employee’s trust in their management. The umbrella of office politics encompasses a lot of workplace issues, from sexism to favoritism. The former especially deserves several articles to itself. But both of these problems stand to benefit from some of the same solutions as the issues we have discussed in this article. More investment in management training schemes and the use of modern platforms to improve the flow of mutual feedback in organisations will enable workplace leaders to self-reflect and optimize their approach in order to maximize team productivity.