What diminishes trust in the leader the most?

trust May 11, 2023
Which factor hurts trust in the workplace the most

The level of trust is highly correlated with how people rate a leader’s overall leadership effectiveness. Do you know what factor hurts trust in the workplace the most? Take a guess. 

Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman analyzed over 80,000 360-degree reviews and found that three elements predict whether a leader will be trusted by his direct reports, peers, and other colleagues. 

These key elements of trust in the workplace are:

  1. Consistency
  2. Good judgment/expertise 
  3. Positive relationships

They also found out that one of the elements was more important than the others. Without it being on a high level, the trust ratings fell significantly. 

The consequences of low trust in the workplace are not fun for companies to deal with:

  • Employees are more disengaged (40% of disengaged employees vs 6% in high-trust workplaces) 
  • High turnover rates (The Work Institute’s 2020 Retention Report estimated that voluntary turnover costs employers in the USA over $600 billion annually) 
  • Reduced collaboration and innovation (employees hesitate to share ideas) 
  • Decreased productivity (50% lower productivity compared to high trust organizations per American Psychological Association)
  • Negative health and wellbeing outcomes (increased stress, burnout, exhaustion, sick time)

 And, finally - did you take a guess about which out of the three elements is the most important to keep trust in the leader? It's maintaining positive relationships! :) 

One of the ways to improve trust & relationships in the workplace is by effectively recognizing the effort and work of your team members. 

Want to know more about it? Have a look at our mini mental fitness challenge from another day with a few tips on how to appreciate others more effectively.   

 And - here is a link to the HBR article where you can read more about the study. 


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