A UK study http://bit.ly/dCgVbt has found as little as 10% of employees trust what senior managers are saying about the performance of their business. In the absence of trust leaders will miss out on so many more aspects of employee engagement, commitment and effort. The absence of trust will set back the robust debate required for high quality decision making. The lack of trust will stifle the confidence staff need to challenge the way things are being done and achieve improvements. If staff fail to identify early issues in customer reactions, supplier approaches, systems errors and capacity constraints because they do not trust how they will be treated as the messengers bearing bad news.
So when things go wrong and managers ask “how did we not identify this earlier?” there will be many ideas put forward – reviews, reports, audits, research, early detection signals for inclusion in strategic planning reviews – but few will identify the lack of trust as one of the areas for improvement.