The report, commissioned by event agency Top Banana and the Institute of Internal Communication and compiled by Westminster Business School, uncovers the extent to which communication technology has broken down trust.
According to its findings, trust in UK business reached its lowest recorded levels last year, and just one in four members of the public trust business leaders to do the right thing. It goes on to suggest there is a 'clear disconnect' between the ease and frequency of electronic communication and employees’ desire to talk and exchange.
"Continuously declining levels of trust in society indicate that we are not relating to each other in the right way," said Katalin Illes, principal lecturer in leadership and development at Westminster Business School and co-author of the report.
"One key element of communication that business leaders should take into account is its ‘richness’. Face to face communication is still considered the most reliable and allows people to rapidly evaluate the openness and honesty of managers, thus allowing them to build trust," she added.
Nick Terry, managing director at Top Banana, said: "The presence of trust in an organisation has a considerable impact on the performance of that organisation. From better cooperation and more effective problem solving, to a positive work climate and employee engagement, the benefits of a trusting workplace are both well researched and understood by events professionals, as is the continued role of face to face communication in the corporate environment.
"Research tells us that employees still prefer to share ideas via face to face communication, therefore it’s vital that leaders and managers make themselves visible for both formal and informal conversations."
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