BUS 600: Management Communication with Technology Tools
Prof. Michael Moore, Ph.D.
March 18, 2011
Building Trust In Business Leaders
Job satisfaction is down in companies causing a negative impacting on company’s financial performance. And this dissatisfaction can be traced to business leaders. According to a survey conducted by Abell (2011) of more than one thousand people, only twenty percent always respect their bosses. Non-management employees account for the vast majority of people in an organization and they routinely interact with valuable suppliers, peers, and customers. These associates can either be a bridge to a company’s success or a barrier. Quality businesses realize employees need to feel valued to optimize their performance. To promote an atmosphere of value, managers must gain employee’s respect by communicating in ways that cultivate trust. Having satisfied employees is a real issue in today workplace. As Lencioni (2007) points out “Three out of four people hate their jobs – and this misery costs employers $350 billion a year in lost productivity. Job satisfaction kills morale and drives up the cost of recruiting, hiring, and retaining employees” (par. 5). Lencioni (2007) goes on to say “People spend so much of their time at work, and yet many are unfulfilled, frustrate and miserable in their jobs” (par. 1). Lencioni (2007) also states “People who are miserable in their jobs dread going to work and come home frustrated, defeated, and weary. Over time this dull pain erodes their confidence and passion” (par. 4). Constructing a positive, trusting working environment will increase employee satisfaction, create innovative solutions and improve corporate profit. Since creating a positive business environment and culture is significant, this change must start with the leadership. Sand, Cangemi, & Ingram (2011) state “Some studies … present data that suggest the environment created by the leaders may be more important than the compensation” (par 14). According to Chen (2004) “Leaders affect their subordinates both directly through their interactions and also through the organization culture” (abstract). Chen (2004) also states “A survey of most admired companies conducted by Fortune has indicated that the CEO respondents believed that corporate culture was their most important lever in enhancing [employee engagement]” (par. 3). Winter (2003) confirms that “Engaged employees also feel that their contribution is recognized and rewarded, they feel empowered to make decisions or take action, and they feel that their leaders are in touch with what is going on in the organization and with its staff” (par. 7). Clearly leadership plays a significant role in employee and company success. If you have worked in the world for any length of time, chances are good you have encountered a leader that you did not respect. Or a leader disrespected you. Because we spend so much time at work, it’s not surprising that Sand et al. (2011) recent survey of employees indicates sympathetic understanding of personal matters and full appreciation of work done as the top two associates wants at work” (par. 22). Sand et al. go on to say that according to their survey “associates behavior and motivation are more positively affected by how they are valued and treated as human beings than by the amount of money they receive” (par. 12). As a result, leaders should value and treat employees as human beings by first creating an atmosphere of trust. There are many companies known for building organizations on a foundation of trust. One such company is 3M. Schneider and Paul (2011) follow the success of 3M and paraphrase the 3M Human Resource professionals as stating they knew that trust in managers correlates to how employees judge most workplace issues. Schneider and Paul (2011) go on to state Building trust in managers appears to...