Employee trust in management has fallen to a record low, new figures have suggested.
Confidence in employers has fallen over the last six months as workers fear they could be laid off because of the economic downturn.
Almost one in three public sector workers now fear losing their jobs, compared with one in five in private firms, according to a survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).
Almost 60% of staff in the public sector said their organisation was planning to make redundancies.
The survey of 2,000 employees also found that an increasing number of workers believed their standard of living had worsened in the last six months.
Claire McCartney of the CIPD said: "The survey findings highlight the importance of senior leaders in organisations putting even more emphasis during tough times on how they communicate, consult and involve staff where major changes such as restructuring or redundancies are being proposed.
"Evidence suggests that where employees benefit from effective communication and feel their views matter, and are taken into account before decisions are made, they are more likely to remain engaged in their work and committed to the organisation."