Too few workers believe what they are told by senior management, according to a new survey.
The survey of more than 1,100 UK employees by Mercer Human Resource Consulting reveals a high level of distrust. It found that fewer than four in ten employees (36 per cent) trust senior managers to always communicate honestly - down from 39 per cent in 2002.
Levels of trust decline with length of service. Fifty-seven per cent of employees with less than a year's service trust management to communicate honestly, but this figure declines to just 26 per cent for employees with 15 or more years' service.
Dr Patrick Gilbert, head of organisational research and effectiveness at Mercer, said: "It is particularly worrying that long-serving employees - who know most about their organisations - trust management the least."
He added: "Employees tend to be especially distrustful of management in times of organisational change as they can feel less secure in their jobs and uncertain about their future in the organisation.
"But trust is crucial for change to be successful, otherwise staff will not believe the messages communicated by management."
Only half the employees surveyed (53 per cent) feel their organisation does a good job of keeping employees informed about matters that affect them.
"Employees often suspect that far more goes on behind closed doors than managers let on. As well as questioning the information they receive, many employees worry they are not being told the whole story," said Dr Gilbert. "The more accessible and visible managers are, the more likely employees are to trust them and have confidence in the organisation."
Meanwhile a massive 98 per cent of managers across the UK say they come into contact with difficult work colleagues on a regular basis, according to a survey commissioned by PTP Training & Marketing which is based at Blythe Valley Business Park, Solihull.
Half the sample - which was made up of more than 250 senior professionals - say they encounter difficult people on a daily basis with just under one in ten claiming this is an hourly occurrence.