The confidence of employees in senior leaders has reached a two-year low, with many staff believing performance management systems are unfair.
This is according to the latest Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) / Halogen Employee Outlook survey, which recorded the views of over 2,500 employees.
Confidence in senior managers fell by five net percentage points, while trust in senior leaders and perceptions of consultation have fallen by four net percentage points each. This bucks the trend of Employee Outlook surveys, which have previously showed improvements in perceptions of senior managers.
Employees in the public sector have the most negative attitudes towards their senior managers – particularly striking in this instance is the 14 net percentage point decrease in confidence in senior leaders.
Almost a third of those surveyed said they believe performance management systems are unfair, while the same proportion thinks career progression in their organisation is unachievable.
One in five claim managers do not effectively communicate objectives and expectations.
The CIPD is warning that managers who fail to step up and talk to their employees about development could risk losing valuable talent.
Many employees are on the lookout for new jobs, particularly in the voluntary sector, where 27 per cent of staff are seeking new employment opportunities. This figure is 20 per cent for the public sector and 22 per cent for the private sector.
Donna Ronayne, vice president of marketing and business development at Halogen Software, said: "With employee perceptions of the job market improving organisations need to be proactive about their retention strategies if they want to prevent their best talent from jumping ship.
"This means ensuring your performance management processes are clear and consistent and used to align employees to the vision of the organisation."
Ms Ronayne added that processes need to be used to improve the relationship between management and employees by enabling managers to identify learning and development needs which will open up opportunities for career progression.
There was some positive news for employers, with employee job satisfaction levels increasing slightly on the spring 2013 figure.