Staff want responsibility but Managers don’t trust them

Nearly half (43%) of employees would like more responsibility in their current role, but a fifth of managers do not trust their staff to deliver.

According to research of 2,452 employees by YouGov for Investors in People, 43% of managers think staff would be concerned about the extra workload of more responsibility but only 8% of employees thought it would have a negative impact on their performance and only 4% felt it would make them less motivated.
In fact if staff were not given more responsibility 59% say they would become demotivated and 58% would be frustrated.But 53% of staff have never asked their manager for more responsibility and 29% do not think there is an opportunity for them – with 15% believing their manager to be too controlling.Simon Jones, chief executive of Investors in People, said: “By taking everything on themselves, managers can leave almost two-thirds of their people feeling demotivated and two-fifths could end up looking for a new job. In other words, giving employees the right level of responsibility is vital to driving the productivity of organisations through their people.”

This headline, which may come as a surprise to some, strongly reflects the opinions I often hear on management programmes. Whether this is fear of being let down, a fear of letting go, or fear of somebody doing a better job than them, this a familiar theme. Managers need to learn to delegate more and one of the keys to effective and confident delegation is learning to trust. Leaders may be slow to trust, but need to learn that leaders lead – and that often means being the first to do something and this is certainly true of showing trust! If you want trust, be trustworthy and trusting. Richard Branson has said that if you have high expectations of your people, they will live up to them.