Press Release

Good managers are trustworthy, respectful and fair, survey reveals

Latest press release from Ciphr



Good managers are trustworthy, respectful and fair, survey reveals

New research by HR software provider Ciphr has revealed the top 20 most important skills and attributes of a good manager, according to UK employees.

Being trustworthy was voted the top managerial quality by over two-thirds (69%) of the 1,000 people polled, closely followed by being respectful and treating everyone fairly (66%).

Other essential attributes that employees think good managers need to possess are honesty and authenticity, a positive attitude, and being reliable and consistent with their teams (62%, 61% and 60% respectively).

Friendliness was another top pick for many of those surveyed (58%), while others want a compassionate and supportive manager (56%), and one that leads by example (56%).

Over half also rated a manager as being ‘good’ if they can demonstrate that they are an effective communicator, a collaborative team player, organised, open to feedback, and an empathic listener. Employees also want their managers to show both recognition and appreciation of others.

Survey respondents were asked to select the qualities and skills they value most in a good manager from a comprehensive, and randomised, list of 32 options (each person chose 14 answers on average).

Perhaps unsurprisingly, behavioural skills that govern how managers act and interact with others prove to be the most important managerial traits to most employees (working at all levels).

The top 20 must-have qualities of a good manager:

  • Is trustworthy (69% of surveyed employees)
  • Respectful and treats everyone fairly (66%)
  • Honest and authentic (62%)
  • Has a positive attitude (61%)
  • Reliable and consistent (60%)
  • Warm and friendly (58%)
  • Compassionate and supportive (56%)
  • A leader / leads by example (56%)
  • Effective communicator (55%)
  • A team player who encourages collaboration (54%)
  • Organised (53%)
  • Open to feedback and suggestions (53%)
  • An empathic listener (51%)
  • Appreciative and shows recognition (51%)
  • Confident and decisive (47%)
  • Accountable (45%)
  • Able to coach and mentor (44%)
  • Able to motivate, empower and encourage (44%)
  • Supports career development (43%)
  • Is inclusive (42%)
  • Has strong values and ethics (42%)
  • Able to delegate (42%)

The full list is available to view at:

Commenting on the results, Karen Lough, head of learning and development at Ciphr, says: “There really isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to management. Organisations often promote managers based on how good they are at their jobs and can forget to look at whether they possess the right skills and attributes to be a great manager. As this research illustrates, many of the traits that are deemed important to being a good manager are based on personal values and how people come across in their behaviours, rather than the technical skills and knowledge they might have and how well they do their job.

“I want to feel that I can trust my manager, that they will listen, that they will motivate me, that they have confidence in me, and will help me get to where I want to be. That’s what I value, and every individual will have their own expectations about how they want their managers to support them in their roles and career development. So, it’s important for managers to focus on getting the fundamentals right – starting with those key qualities and strengths that all employees want from their managers – such as trustworthiness, being respectful, fair, and truthful, staying positive, being consistent with your words and actions, and delivering on your promises.

“Managers need to know that they can rely on their organisations for regular training to support them in their role and enhance their management skills – not just in management processes and core competencies but in self-awareness and how to adapt management styles to the needs of their individual reports. It is critical for talent retention and business growth, because good managers are those who are skilled in getting the best out of every member of their team when it comes to delivering on their tasks.

“Organisations that underinvest in their managers, and don’t train them on how to be a great manager, are courting chaos. They run the risk that these undertrained, inexperienced managers will simply be making it up as they go along, which is certainly not in the best interests of their teams and has the potential for wider ramifications across the business. The managers themselves will feel discontent and unsupported, and their teams will be dissatisfied too, which will lead to reduced productivity and performance, and, ultimately, attrition because people are more likely to leave if they don’t feel valued.

“No matter how good people are at their jobs, everyone benefits from regular training and development. And, managers are no different.”

Ciphr is a leading UK-based provider of integrated HR, payroll, learning and recruitment solutions. Ciphr LMS’s accessible-anywhere learning content, and personalised visual learning journeys, enable organisations to deliver effective training experiences to all employees, whether they are workplace-based, work on the road or from home. Ciphr also offers off-the-shelf eLearning content, with training focused on compliance, equality, diversity and inclusion, mental health and wellbeing, and management, through its subsidiary Marshall E-Learning. More than 600 organisations use the group’s people management solutions globally across the public, private and non-profit sectors.

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Media enquiries:
Emma-Louise Jones, digital PR manager at Ciphr
t: 01628 244206

Chris Boddice, chief marketing officer at Ciphr



Ciphr conducted an online survey between 12-15 June 2023 of 1,000 employed UK adults (over the age of 18 years old) working at organisations with at least 26 employees. Survey respondents were asked the following question: In your opinion, what are the top must-have qualities / skills of a good manager (an ‘other’ option was provided among the randomised list of available answers).

Half (48%) of survey respondents are employed by organisations with 1,001+ employees, a fifth (21%) work at organisations with 251 to 1,000 employees, and just under a third (31%) work at organisations with 26 to 250 employees.

The survey is unweighted, and as such is only a snapshot of the working-age population.

Ciphr is a leading UK-based provider of integrated HR, payroll, learning and recruitment solutions. Ciphr also offers off-the-shelf and bespoke eLearning content and diversity and inclusion consultancy services through its subsidiary  Marshall E-Learning.

Ciphr’s integrated HCM platform helps organisations manage their end-to-end employee lifecycle so they can deliver an amazing employee experience. With Ciphr, organisations can be confident they can access all their people data in one place, thanks to secure, time-saving integrations between Ciphr’s own solutions and API connections to specialist, third-party tools.

Ciphr is a privately held company backed by ECI Partners, and headquartered in Marlow, Buckinghamshire. Over 200 employees work across the group, which includes Ciphr, Digits Industries, Marshall E-Learning, and Payroll Business Solutions (PBS).

Ciphr spokespeople are available to provide expert media commentary on a broad range of topics, including HR strategy, people management, employee experience and wellbeing, learning and development, the future of work, tech trends, business and leadership, marketing, and more.