Investors in People UK has warned of a crisis in the workplace after half of employees reported that their managers withheld important support or information from them.

In a survey the government-funded body, which promotes best practices in the workplace, found that an average of 30 per cent of workers had complete faith in their bosses and that this trust diminished the larger the company grew.

The survey of 1,769 UK workers, conducted by YouGov, found that only 26 per cent of those in companies of 5,000 people or more said they trusted their managers completely, compared with 39 per cent of those in businesses with between two and nine employees. Only 21 per cent of those asked said they would confide in bosses about a sensitive work-related matter, with 55 per cent instead saying they would turn to a colleague or contemporary.

With eight out of 10 employees saying they had been let down by their managers in the past, bosses were most likely to disappoint staff by failing to provide the support they needed to do their job, according to 49 per cent of those surveyed.

A similar proportion, 48 per cent, complained that managers withheld information that affected them. Two thirds of employees said managers should communicate more regularly. A third said their managers needed to be more honest and stick to their word.

Simon Jones, acting chief executive of Investors in People UK, said: “Lack of trust in the workplace is a major concern. Trust is fundamental to building and maintaining effective relationships between managers and teams, and the bedrock of success.”

The longer people remain in work, the worse the situation gets. Among those who were less than a year into their working life, 39 per cent said they trusted their managers completely. Only a quarter of those who had worked for 10 years or more had the same response.

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