More than a third of UK workers (36 per cent) have lost confidence in senior leadership since the start of the pandemic. In contrast, relationships with colleagues have improved with almost half of workers (49 per cent) enjoying a closer bond with employees on their team compared with before the pandemic. These are the findings from O.C. Tanner’s 2021 Global Culture Report which surveyed 40,000 employees and leaders across the world including over 1,600 from the UK.

“When faced with a shared crisis, people are more likely to pull together and show support. The closer bonds workers are feeling is indicative of this” says Robert Ordever, MD of workplace culture expert, O.C. Tanner Europe. “On the flipside, it’s disappointing that poor leadership during the crisis has left many workers feeling let down.”

37 per cent of UK workers admit that they’ve felt unsupported by senior leaders since the start of the pandemic with the same number feeling isolated and vulnerable in their job.

The report identified that ‘modern leaders’ are far more effective at supporting employees and making them feel cared for, appreciated, and connected to their organisation and its purpose. Traditional leaders, who are focused on control and power, are more likely to lose employee trust, confidence and support, and such an approach will have quickly damaged employee-leader relations during the crisis.

Ordever adds, “A poor leadership approach impacts staff engagement and motivation. During a crisis, this is exacerbated, as workers’ immediate needs aren’t being addressed. Confidence is quickly lost with workers withdrawing and feeling isolated.”

“Those who’ve led their teams with compassion and understanding throughout the pandemic will be the winners, coming out the other side with a positive and thriving workplace culture.”