A government report has found that Construction’s leaders fail to inspire their staff – possibly because they do not trust them, writes Sarah Richardson.

The report, entitled Inspired Leadership, was published last week by the DTI and the Chartered Management Institute. It says only one in 10 employees believes their boss is inspiring, and nine out of 10 think they are not trusted by those in power.

Mary Chapman, chief executive of the Chartered Management Institute, warned that board members risked damaging company productivity if they did not address the attitudes exposed by the research.

She said: “It is the relationships between people that result in actions. Leaders who can show trust, respect and appreciation are more likely to keep employees motivated, and if they can achieve that much, performance levels are likely to increase.”

Managers included in the survey identified trust, respect and genuinely shared vision as the three qualities they most looked for from employers. But fewer than four in 10 respondents believed leaders regularly demonstrated such attributes, and half of those questioned said managers did not share their visions of the company’s future with staff.

Employees also felt that not enough was being done to make work enjoyable. More than half claimed their leaders did not encourage fun or excitement.

Nigel Crouch, a senior industrialist working with the DTI, stressed that employers needed to look for ways to improve their management practice. He said: “Today’s workforce is more diverse, informed and sophisticated than ever before. The research shows that ultimately people are still looking for something different and better in organisational leadership.”

Despite the attacks, six out of 10 those surveyed praised executives’ honesty. Half of those questioned also recognised their leaders’ determination to achieve business objectives.