Bosses in the financial services sector are the most trusted despite overall trust in chief executives falling since the beginning of the decade.
Employees’ trust in their chief executives has fallen eight per cent since 2011, according to a report by The Institute of Leadership & Management published today.
A series of high profile bumper pay packets, including former Persimmon boss Jeff Fairburn’s £75m bonus and Sir Martin Sorrell’s £2m bonus after abruptly leaving WPP, along with increased media scrutiny has led to the fall, the report indicated.
But the financial services sector came out on top in 2018 with an index score of 62 per cent, while chief executives in local and national government and the public sector were the least trusted by their workforce.
The report also found that female leaders across all industries were more trusted than their male counterparts.
“With a decline in trust being a recurring theme reported in the media – against the backdrop of organisations going into administration and falling rates of productivity – CEOs are so much more high profiles than they used to be,” head of research, policy and standards at the institute, Kate Cooper said.
“Headlines about high levels of chief executive remuneration, putting their own interests over those of the company, and most importantly, their employees, haven’t helped the situation – so it’s not surprising levels of trust have fallen over the last few years,” she added.
Trust in line managers has remained stable since 2011, the report noted, widening the gap to chief executives, which had closed between 2009 and 2011 when the study began.
Cooper said the findings should be a “wake up call” for chief executives and that it was more important for bosses to have the trust of employees through economic uncertainty.