Trust in leadership worth half a million2006-05-20
Regular readers will know that I believe senior leadership communication is a vital element of internal communications at all times, whether significant change is occurring or not. I’ve received two more pieces of evidence to support this notion.
Angela Sinickas sends along the first in the form of research by Warren Shepell, a global leader in employee assistance programs. According to the firm’s research, seven things are required for maximizing employee engagement. At the top of the list, according to the research: “Trust in senior managers.” Trust in supervisors was high up on the list, weighing in at number four. Ranking above that, at number three, though, was, “Understand their organizations’ vision and strategic direction,” just the kind of big-picture issue senior leadership would communicate; supervisors would interpret that information to localize it and help employees understand how those big-picture vision and strategic direction will affect their work.
The second research study comes by way of Malcolm Ruddock, director, Employee and Advancement Communications at Canada’s University of Western Ontario. Ruddock forwards along an item appearing on the website of the Vancouver Board of Trade regarding research conducted by John Helliwell, one of the world???s foremost researchers on people???s happiness and well-being.
To illustrate his results, Helliwell put a dollar figure to give a recognizable value to how important certain factors are to well-being. Factors measured were engagement (how connected people are with others); employment (paid or not); family, friends and neighbours; good health; high quality of government at all levels, and adequate income (relative to expectations).
Trust toward management was worth more than any other single factor, whether at work or at home, worth half a million dollars in Helliwell’s dollar-valuation equation, “when the most-trustworthy and least-trustworthy managements are being compared. This shows that even a modest change in workplace trust relations can significantly affect life satisfaction.” That half-million stacks up against the $125,000 it’s worth to have more time with family and $100,000 to have more time with friends.
Don’t let anybody convince you that there’s no value to leader communication.