Margareta Pagano: Winning trust in the office is bottom line for men at the top
Margareta Pagano is a former business editor of the Independent on Sunday who now writes columns and business interviews for a range of publications, including the Independent, Independent on Sunday and London Evening Standard.
Sunday 24 February 2013
He's a smart cookie, that Justin King, the boss of Sainsbury's. He has admitted that the public's trust in supermarkets has been severely damaged by the horsemeat scandal and that retailers face a "new reality".
Even though no equine DNA has been found in any of Sainsbury's food, his mea culpa on behalf of his fellow retailers and suppliers was absolutely spot-on.
So it was also smart of Mr King to make the point that everyone in the supply chain – from retailer to supplier, small or big – has a duty to act to restore that trust. He's obviously taken some lessons from the banking crises where the bosses are only just beginning to accept blame and demand new standards, as Antony Jenkins has done at Barclays, by telling staff that if they don't meet the new values they can leave.
But all these apologies – and chief executive demands for new standards – are throwing up some other rather fascinating psychological issues at work, according to my head-hunter friend Lindsay Leslie-Miller. She's been recruiting top executives for some of the UK's biggest retailers and telecoms for more than 20 years but says she's never known them to be so jumpy, scared and aggressive.
Since the financial crash most companies have been focused because most of the senior executives have been concentrating on slashing costs and meeting sales targets. But now they've cut everything to the bone, and there is still no sales growth. The rules have changed and executives don't know what to do; which is why there's lots more back-stabbing.
Leslie-Miller should know: her search firm, Hunter-Miller, recruits at the sharp end – the sales, trading and marketing executives trained to meet demanding targets. By contrast, the chief executives do know where they are going but need to start explaining themselves at work as well as to the public.
A new survey for the Edelman Trust Barometer shows less than 20 per cent of the people they spoke to trust business leaders to make good decisions. It would be interesting to ask those same people what they think of their own bosses – it might be even lower.
World's most lethal spider found under a bunch of bananas
Rumours that the star wants to move on to pastures new
TV presenter Fiona Bruce seemed a bit startled by the find during the filming of Antiques Roadshow
Comedian says he 'never laughed as hard as I have writing with Rik'
- 1 Jack the Ripper: Scientists who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 2 Ebola outbreak: What is bushmeat – and is it to blame for the disease that has killed thousands?
- 3 Star Wars memorabilia called a 'bit of plastic' by Antiques Roadshow's Fiona Bruce valued at £50,000
- 4 Meet Thea, Norway's 12-year-old child bride
- 5 Russell Brand might seem like a sexy revolutionary worth getting behind, but he will only fail his fans
Ebola outbreak: What is bushmeat – and is it to blame for the disease that has killed thousands?
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: Olympic star must serve 10 years, prosecutor urges
Isis fighters 'crucify' 17-year-old boy in Syria
Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
Oscar Pistorius sentence: Athlete's wealth and notoriety provoke an overdue debate on South African prisons
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Sorry Judy Finnigan – Ched Evans is no less sickening than an alleyway rapist
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Workers 'could be forced to pay £5 a week' to get benefits
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'
iJobs Money & Business
£60,000 - £80,000: Saxton Leigh: Our client is an leading Asset Manager based...
£27000 - £32000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our large charity ...
£50000 - £55000 per annum + bonus + benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Relationship M...
Highly Attractive Salary : Austen Lloyd: NOTTINGHAM - BRILLIANT FIRM - You wil...