Workers Distrust Corporate Management, But Express Confidence in Supervisors

On National Boss' Day, six out of 10 employees polled say they have "a lot" of trust in their direct boss, but in the wake of corporate scandals, many admit they have a tough time trusting management.

A study released by LRN, a leading provider of legal, compliance and business ethics management and education services, found the majority of employees queried, 63 percent, have retained faith in their immediate supervisor, perhaps the single most critical interpersonal relationship in the workplace.

This is significant news in an economic climate marked by layoffs and diminished expectations from employment, and indicates an important area of focus for employers who are trying to retain and motivate the best and the brightest talent, while demanding more from them on the job.

LRN commissioned the study to identify trends within the workplace relative to trust and ethics, and to specifically examine worker attitudes toward their primary supervisor. "Although it is far too early to declare victory that trust in corporate America has been restored, this finding of strong ties between employees and their supervisors could signal an important first step," said Dov Seidman, LRN founder and CEO. "Our programs are designed to develop strong cultures of integrity and legal compliance deep within organizations as well as at the top. As trust is earned over time through ethically sound behavior throughout organizations, the restoration of corporate reputations will follow."

The struggling economy puts a lot of pressure on both supervisors and employees, said Mark Wirthlin, senior vice president of Wirthlin Worldwide. "As companies continue to expect more productivity from their workforce with fewer resources and smaller staffs, the potential for strained relationships is higher than ever. To see the extent to which most American workers still trust their bosses shows there are a lot of managers out there making hard choices, but still being fair, honest and ethical with their employees."

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