Employee trust in leadership wanes in Asia says survey
Trust in leadership, one of the key drivers of employee engagement, is on the decline in Asia, revealed a recent survey by The Forum Corporation. One in five employees and two in five leaders believe that trust in leadership is lower today as compared to the past. These findings were the result of a global Leadership Pulse Survey published by Forum, and released today. The full report and infographic illustrating the findings can be viewed here.
“Employee trust in leadership is more important now than ever before as organisations grapple with mounting competitive, internal and external pressures. But we are seeing a decline in this critical element of the employee-manager relationship. This can be extremely detrimental as lack of trust directly reduces employee engagement and impacts morale and workforce productivity”, says Cynthia Stuckey, Managing Director of Forum in Asia-Pacific.
Conducted with close to 1,000 respondents globally, Forum’s Leadership Pulse Survey aims to illustrate the inherent connection between trust in leadership and employee engagement. It also seeks to investigate how leaders handle mistakes and whether employees are more trusting of leaders who admit to their shortcomings.
Sorry seems to be the hardest word
While leaders in Asia say they admit to (97.2 percent) and apologise (99 percent) for their mistakes, employees do not agree. In fact, five out of 10 employees (50 percent) say that their leaders rarely or never apologise.
The overwhelming fear of looking incompetent or weak in front of employees is cited as the main reason why leaders in Asia do not shoulder up for their mistakes. The majority (67 percent) of leaders believe saying sorry will make them look incompetent, while another 25 percent believe they would look weak in front of their employees.
“The concept of ‘face’ is highly important in Asia and significantly influences leadership style across organisations in this region,” Cynthia explains. “’Losing face’ by demonstrating weakness and incompetence is considered to diminish the stature of the leaders in the eyes of his or her subordinates.”
By not owning up to their mistakes, leaders risk losing their employees’ trust but the study also finds other “bad boss behaviors” that could contribute to this erosion of confidence. These include lying, taking credit for others’ ideas or blaming employees unfairly, gossiping, poor communication and lack of clarity in giving directions.
Walking the talk
There is a strong agreement between leaders and employees around the importance of trust in leadership. Leaders also gave building trust a high priority, with over 96.5 percent considering it of “great” or “very great” importance.
In order to inspire trust, employees ranked “walking the talk” at the top (61 percent), followed by spending time and listening (54 percent) as key activities. Employees also highlighted the value of encouraging employees to offer ideas and feedback, following through on commitments, and providing consistent messages to their teams.
“Trust is a critical component of a successful employee engagement strategy that increases productivity and performance,” adds Cynthia. “Building and strengthening trust in leadership is a multifaceted process that requires leaders to truly understand what their employees expect of them – to act with integrity, to provide coaching, to communicate openly and to build a positive climate.”
Forum conducted their global leadership survey in September. They received 954 responses globally, asking questions around trust, apologising and engagement. Asia results are from respondents across 12 countries including China, India, Singapore, Hong Kong and the Philippines.
About The Forum Corp.
Forum is a recognised global leader in linking learning to strategic business objectives. Our learning solutions help organisations effectively execute their business strategies by focusing on their most important asset: their people. We provide clients with practical and research-based advice and comprehensive sales and leadership training programs that mobilise employees, accelerate business-initiative implementation, and improve agility. For more information, visit www.forumasiapacific.com.sg, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or connect with us on LinkedIn.
Digital Leader Mobiquity Expands Into Asia-Pacific
As an international digital consulting firm, Mobiquity helps a global client base upgrade its digital banking and financial services. The company employs 1,200 team members across 50+ nationalities and serves an estimated 200+ million users each day. Recently, the company built out a digital banking experience for the Bank of the Philippines Islands’ online and mobile platforms—exemplifying its mission to help leading brands engage with technology in meaningful ways.
To highlight Mobiquity’s services, here are a few of the company’s recent accomplishments:
- Designed and developed the first FDA-approved digital medicine system
- Launched a five-star mobile ordering app
- Pioneered a cloud-based IT infrastructure that prevented bank fraud
- Built the official AWS re:Invent 2017 and 2018 mobile apps
What Makes Mobiquity Stand Out?
According to Mobiquity, it's the people that make all the difference. ‘We’re born innovators who like meaty challenges’, the company wrote. ‘We go deeper, getting to the root of your customers’ friction and creating personalised engagements that deliver much more than a digital experience alone’. Now, the company has added former Microsoft and IBM director Gustavo Quiroga to its team.
Who Is Gustavo Quiroga?
At Mobiquity, he’ll be the first Vice President of Business Development Financial Services in APAC. With years of experience in the industry, Quiroga has developed numerous tech, business, and customer experience projects: at Microsoft, he led a top Aussie Azure Data and AI specialist team, and at IBM, he applied AI and deep analytics to transform the company’s business processes, CX, and UX.
Based in Sydney, Australia, Quiroga will start to work with Mobiquity clients in Singapore, Vietnam, and the Philippines and take responsibility for expanding the company’s regional operations. ‘Our best way to impact client outcomes’, he wrote, ‘is by listening to them with an inquisitive and open mind and empowering our people to do the same’.
When notified of the announcement, Quiroga expressed excitement over his new role. ‘I’m delighted to join Mobiquity and support the company’s rapid expansion across the Asia-Pacific region. I joined Mobiquity to develop, design and implement digital products and services that create meaningful experiences with customers...and I look forward to using my expertise to develop partnerships where we can achieve this every day’.
Where Does Mobiquity Go From Here?
In the past six months, Mobiquity has hired over 100 new employees, including the high-profile additions of Howard Moore, Senior Director of Banking, and Ruby Walia, Senior Advisor for Digital Banking. This falls in line with the company’s hyper-growth strategy to deliver digital products to the world.
As Matthew Williamson, Mobiquity’s Vice President of Global Financial Services, explained: ‘Our appointment of Gustavo demonstrates [our] commitment to hiring an A-list team of talent. The latest addition to the Mobiquity team supports our vision of global growth in Asia-Pacific, as a recognised partner within the banking and finance ecosystem’.