Home Business News Just two fifths of workers feel their senior leaders are transparent

Just two fifths of workers feel their senior leaders are transparent

by LLB Reporter
16th Aug 23 5:46 am

Global employee experience agency www.thisishome.co.uk surveyed more than 4,000 employees from 17 industries around the world to profile the dream leader in 2023.

They found employees value humanistic qualities, such as being a good listener (45%), respectful (30%) and collaborative (25%), over being inspirational (8%), structured (7%) and challenging the status quo (6%).

Only 6% of employees selected inclusive as a top quality in a dream boss – highlighting that, even in 2023, an equitable working world where everyone has a chance to thrive is not a mainstream priority. There’s clearly still a lot of work we all need to do, to change this.

What ​people do want today, is to have trusted relationships with leaders who care for their individual needs, not a superhero or super-influencer.

Believing your leaders are transparent is a core measure of trust – and it matters. In workplaces where employees do believe their senior leaders are transparent, 80% of people are having more good days at work than bad days. Unfortunately, however, overall less than half of employees believe senior leaders are transparent (43%).

78% of employees in India believe their senior leaders are transparent, whereas just 45% of employees in Sweden and France believe senior leaders are transparent. The UK is above average, with 59% of workers believing senior leaders are transparent; although, nearly one in five of UK employees (18%) actively distrust their leaders.

Perhaps tied to this lack of trust in leadership, an alarming 30% of employees do not feel safe to speak up if something is not right. This prompts questions about the avoidable business risks being taken due to a lack of trust.

The team then explored how leaders’ experiences in the workplace differ from their team members’ experiences. They found that over half of leaders feel their overall wellbeing is better for being in work (55%), compared to 39% of their team members. What’s more, 41% of leaders would recommend where they work, whereas only 24% of middle managers and team members would do the same.

To help business leaders and line managers become their team’s dream leader and deliver better business outcomes, the team at www.thisishome.co.uk outlined two top tips for success:

Build respect through transparency

30% of employees listed ‘respectful’ as a top quality in their dream leader. This is the heart of human leadership. Treating people with dignity and understanding should be a given, but with less than half of employees feeling senior leaders are transparent (43%) and one in four (26%) not feeling physically safe at work, there is work to do. For those who are already listening, the next step is to commit to more transparent communications. Lead by example, by doing things such as admitting mistakes and uncertainty, showing an understanding that no one is perfect and a desire to create a team that supports each other in the good and more difficult times.

Give power to the people

Empowerment is one of those words that feels like it has lost all meaning and entered the realms of corporate jargon – and it is time to move from jargon to action. 22% of employees say their dream leader empowers people. An empowering leader is a trusting one. Be clear on each team member’s responsibilities, give them freedom to make decisions and allow them to bring their own experiences and ideas. Then, celebrate their achievements and support them through their mistakes.

Hattie Roche, Co-Managing Director and Strategy Chief at www.thisishome.co.uk, said, “The move from leaders as gatekeeper of reality is complete. No one wants a superhero leader – no more chosen few. People are seeking trusted relationships with leaders who care for their individual needs.

“We suspect seeing our leaders working from home as an equal-sized Zoom square for two years and the high-profile public reckonings for the likes of Elon Musk have hastened this attitudinal shift. We’re feeling the humanisation of leadership. It’s not a trend, it’s an expectation of the work experience today.

“We, at Home, designed our Leaders of the Future programme to help businesses reimagine leadership development and build a more human leadership style. We all keep saying the world has changed, but we keep trying to lead in the same way.”

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