Lack of Training Equals a Lack of Trust for Managers

by Erin Bair on June 10, 2019

in Employee Engagement,Leadership,Training

Do Not Trust Robots

Gallup’s Q12, a twelve question survey administered to employees to measure engagement, has been around since 1996. Since that time tens of millions of employees from 195 countries have taken it. Every single question focuses on managerial or team soft skills rather than salary or benefits. On Amazon, there are over 57,000 books in all formats with the word ‘Leadership’ in the title. Most people seem to know that the number one reason people leave jobs is because of their manager. So given all that we know about good management, the following recent statistic may come as a surprise:

58% of respondents would trust a stranger over their own boss.

Then again, if you’re one of the 95 million people who used Uber on a monthly basis in 2018 maybe it’s not so shocking. Trust in strangers has gotten most people to the airport in time. But light-hearted comparisons aside, this is a seriously worrisome statistic. We know that trust provides the foundation of workplace engagement, job satisfaction, and a thriving organizational culture. So why, given that this is the heyday of leadership and engagement, is faith in management so abysmally low?

According to a recent CareerBuilder study, 58% of managers said they did not receive any management training.

The correlation is striking. It appears that though we have a list of leadership development resources that grows every day, organizations aren’t making use of them. I’d wager that most bosses aren’t evil-incarnate wretches that are undeserving of their direct report’s trust. Rather, too few organizations have invested the resources in teaching managers the soft skills that build and develop trust on a team.

If we don’t provide the training to our managers and supervisors, no engagement survey or leadership book will save our organizations from the steady churn of employees making a bee line for the door because they don’t trust their boss. Then they’ll probably take an Uber home.

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