Worker confidence rose in Q3 2017, but confidence in leadership fell
- The third quarter (Q3) of 2017 saw a resurgence in U.S. workers' confidence, after a year of record low scores, according to a survey from talent and outsourcing firm Yoh and HRO Today Magazine. The national Worker Confidence Index gauges workers' confidence based on the perception that they'll lose a job, get promoted, receive a raise or trust in their organization's leadership. Of the four confidence drivers, overall trust in leadership fell in Q3 2017.
- The overall confidence index rose from 99.7 in Q2 2017 to 102.5 in Q3 2017. The perceived likelihood of a promotion pushed up the index in that area by 12 points, from 93.7 in Q2 to 106.3 in Q3. But the comparable fall in trust for organizational leadership may be a no-confidence vote in senior management's ability to make "sound strategic decisions," the index shows.
- In other index results, women had less trust in leadership (38.9%) than men (46.6%); older workers (25.6%) had less trust in leadership than younger workers (63.8%).
The lack of confidence in leadership continues to drop in this index, a troubling sign for any organization. The index doesn't reveal the underlying cause, but employers whose workers distrust senior management (despite feeling increased confidence overall) need to find out why and decide how to reverse the situation.
One possible cause is inadequate and infrequent communication between C-suite members and employees, blocking any sense of transparency in the workplace. Organizations that fail to keep workers updated on issues affecting their jobs or on its financial well-being could give the appearance of covering up information or being less than truthful. On the other hand, being open about this information could help employees feel bought in and more engaged.
Employees and managers often perceive their relationship differently. A recent survey by Ultimate Software found that 93% of respondents said that trust in their direct manager is crucial to job satisfaction, and half said they can't perform their best work when they're dissatisfied. Employers with a serious investment in employee engagement and development will want to make transparency an integral part of their corporate culture to build trust.