+Scott Watson

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Trust in leaders at a record low

Employee confidence and trust in senior leaders has dropped to record lows as the economic downturn continues to erode workers’ standard of living and undermine job security, according to the CIPD’s spring 2011 Employee Outlook survey. The proportion of employees saying their standard of living has worsened in the last six months has increased to 37% from 31% in the previous quarter. Public sector employees are most likely to say their standard of living has worsened (47%) compared with 35% of workers in both the private and voluntary sectors.

Although job insecurity has edged up since the previous quarter, with 21% of employees thinking it likely they could lose their jobs as a result of the downturn compared to 20% last quarter, there is again a big difference in the sectors. Almost one in three (30%) public sector employees say it is likely they could lose their job compared to 19% of those in the private sector and 27% in the voluntary sector. In all, 21% of respondents say their organisation is planning to make redundancies, rising to 58% among public sector respondents. In all 29% of voluntary sector employees say their organisation is planning redundancies, as do 10% of those in the private sector.

Perhaps not surprisingly against this backdrop, the net proportion of employees agreeing they have confidence in their senior leaders has fallen to a record -31 from -23 for the previous quarter, while the net trust score has also fallen to -8 from -1 over the same period.

The survey also finds that job satisfaction has fallen over the last three months from +39 in the last quarter to +34 this quarter - its lowest level since the CIPD started the survey in spring 2009. Employees working in the voluntary sector remain the most satisfied (+44), followed by public sector workers (+38), with private sector staff least satisfied (+33). On top of this, the proportion of staff looking for a new job with a new employer has increased to 24% from 19% for the previous quarter. Like last quarter, respondents from the public sector are least likely to be looking for a new job and those in the voluntary sector most likely to be doing so.

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