Employees distrust their boss?


Boss is one of the most important factors affecting employees. Since their careers depend on bosses, subordinates will do anything to serve, satisfy or get along with their bosses to build a harmonious and effective workplace. However, according to American Psychological Association’s 2014 Work and Well-Being Survey (US) and The Yorkshire Building Society Trust Study (UK) reveal that half of employees do not trust their bosses and think that their company is open and honest with them.

Honesty and transparency are the top reasons of distrust. 48 percent of employees do not have faith in their boss integrity. Employees want to see no politics and hidden agendas in the workplace to make sure that they will get an accurate advancement and nothing obstructs their work stability. Some of them don’t trust in their boss’s potential and skills. Some of them, moreover, distrust their colleagues. Apart from honesty and transparency, what else can be the reasons why employees don’t trust their bosses?

–       Lack courage. Bosses are supposed to stand up for what they believe and want to do. Be confident in their skills and potentials in order to make subordinates feel confident as well. Boss that has no courage will make subordinates doubt about organization’s performance.

–       Self-centered. When it comes to making decisions, bosses should listen to their subordinates’ opinions. Employees are not content if their opinions are denied. When self-centered boss makes a decision, subordinates will doubt about it since they don’t involve in that decision.

–       Low salary? This seems irrelevant but the latest research reveals that the more employees earn, the more they trust. In UK, 57 percent of people with a household income of less than 25,000 pounds don’t trust their work colleagues and almost one in five of those admitted to feeling jealous of work colleagues. Therefore, when subordinates compare their salary to their boss’s and realize that their boss’s salary is overpriced, they will feel distrust about their boss.

–       Bad relationship. The relationship between boss and subordinates is one of the important reasons. Employees feel distrust about the boss who is not down-to-earth and doesn’t try to get along with work community.


Trust is a precious commodity because it takes a lot of time to build it and a little time to lose it. Also, it plays important part in the workplace leading to good performance, level of risk taking, information sharing, group effectiveness and work atmosphere. Distrust may be a result from unsuccessful leadership. From what I have learned in class, if the boss is transformational leader, it will reduce distrust in the workplace. Transformational leaders are tend to guide and motivate their subordinates in the direction of established goals by clarify role and task requirements which means subordinates will be clear about what their boss are doing and the gap between boss and subordinates will be getting closer since the boss has to get along be a part of work community to inspire and motivated them that results in good relationship between boss and subordinates.








Stephen P. Robbins, Timothy A. Judge, 2013, Organizational Behavior, Pearson Educational Limited

Innate and acquired work engagement

Work engagement is trending right now in organisational behaviour since most studies and researches claim that engagement is correlated to work performance. But there are so many things that we haven’t found out yet about work engagement and need further studies to clarify it.

As work engagement is recognised its importance, employers and employees are trying to acquire it but how…?  I came across a lot of tips of building or getting work engagement in workplace. Here are some of them:

Show people a future

The easiest way to make people focus on something is setting a goal or a finish line. People would feel desperate if they think they are on never-ending road. They have no idea what’s waiting at the end of the road. Setting attractive and beautiful career path is the way to make employees feel more engaged and put more effort to the work to achieve that goal.

Give people autonomy

Now that everyone has their own goal to achieve, then give them trust and power to get things done. Employees feel not engaged when their employers tell or force them to do something they are not willing to do it because it is not their ideas. Giving people autonomy not only makes employees happier but also makes them understand what they are working towards (since they work on their own) that lead to better work performance.

Make people see their importance

Some employees feel not engaged with their works and even their workplace because they think that their duties is not important. For example, a janitor feels that he is just a person who clean up the workplace but actually his duty makes better work atmosphere for everyone and keeps the business going on.

Although it seems like work engagement can be built and developed over time, there is one controversial dilemma regarding work engagement is that “Is engagement innate or acquired?” It’s still inconclusive and I think it is hard to conclude it. I personally think that engagement could be both innate and acquired. The engagement building tips and the controversial dilemma I mentioned earlier bring me to the question “Is there any difference between innate and acquired engagement?”

In my opinion, I think innate engagement is better and more effective than acquired one because I don’t think that you can force people to feel engaged for long period of time if they don’t really feel it. Acquired engagement only makes people focus or concentrate to get something done or achieve the goal and they tend to be more tense than people that born with engagement. On the other hand, people that born with engagement have passion, energy, involvement and enthusiasm. They tend to feel free and happy to work hard on something without getting tense and are willing to contribute to business success and these people are feel engaged for longer period of time.

Therefore, the big difference between innate and acquired is the reason why people feel engaged. Engaged just to achieve goal or genuinely engaged because of their subconscious. In conclusion, feeling engaged is good either innate or acquired. It shows that you are focusing on something and contributing something to your workplace.



– Arnold B. Bakker, Michael P. Leite, Work Engagement, A handbook of essential theory and research, 2010, P. 10-14

– Richard Bevan, 10 Steps to Build Employee Engagement, http://www.incentivemag.com/article.aspx?id=7681

– Matthew Partovi, 8 tips for improving employee (or customer) engagement, https://medium.com/lets-make-organisations-better/eb98c7a48704

No manager in workplace … is it good?

Thinking about organizations, you might think about hierarchy, relations between managers and employees or even tension from being in control. But after studying Zappos case study, I found that Zappos is using an organizational structure that changes perspective of management and organization.


How does it feel if we remove all managers out of the organization?

“No manager” workplace was recently introduced and extensively used in some companies since they wanted to reduce problems between boss and employee, for example, politics in workplace. This structure aims to empower employees, let them work independently, eliminate all the extraneous factors that worry employees, make workplace flatter so employees will be more engaging with their works and organization and make everything in workplace simple, fast and explicit.

It seems good not to have a demanding and moody boss commands and guides you all the time so employees in the workplace would enjoy their freedom but the question is … Is this structure really good?

Yes, it’s good but I think it fits better for small organizations that have small group of employees and works are not complicated. Here are the reasons why I don’t think it would work for large organizations.

–       Coordination. Employees work independently but under the same organization, all works and tasks need to be coordinated and go in the same direction. How could we control this diversification? In conventional structure boss generally controls and guides employees to work in the same direction.

–       Motivation. We can’t deny that boss is the main reason to get works done. When boss says deadline, it’s a deadline. With no boss, employees must have high responsibility and driving force to get things done.

–       Praise and feedback. Boss usually gives employees feedback whether their work is good or bad. It’s important to have someone to check and see if you overlook something or to praise and support you when you work really hard.

–       Chaotic. Imagine large organizations with no managers, it would be chaotic because nobody takes control.

As I mentioned earlier that this structure fits better with small organizations but there are a lot of large organizations out there that use this structure and they become so successful such as Gore-Tex and Zappos.

I think the key of “no manager” organization is recruitment. The big question is “Who is the one that fit this structure?” Because it is different from other structures and it would be harder for companies if they hire someone who does not fit. Not only skills and mastery, attitudes and mindset are important for recruitment as well. With this structure, organization has to reduce diversification in attitudes, personalities of employees, so they can get along easier with others. And employees should be independent, good at working alone and making decisions. Zappos and Gore-Tex also have their own way of recruitment.

I can say that this is an innovation of management but it doesn’t fit all organizations because each one has different characteristics. So it doesn’t matter which structure is used in the organization because the key of success is people.