Albert Cliff Blog

Trust Issues in the Workplace: What Should You Know?

Over the last few years, fake news and lack of trust in traditional institutions have been a hot topic, and this problem is hardly limited to the political realm. The question of trust now affects the business environment more than ever and companies that want to flourish should pay attention to building trustworthy relationships with their employees.

Destruction of trust is detrimental for any group of people and no company is an exception. In 2016 Ernst & Young carried out a global study on trust issues in the workplace and the results were far from encouraging. It turned out that less than half of the respondents had a great deal of trust in their employer and that all over the world the majority of full-time employed professionals had experienced unfair compensation, a lack of leadership or a hostile working environment. Now, this doesn't sound reassuring, but what about more recent studies? Actually, even at the current moment, when there is a global crisis in trust, there is still some positive news for companies.

According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, in 2019 people tend to trust their employer more. In total, 58% of the general population consider their employers to be reliable information sources. While this sounds like good news, the important thing to remember is the distinction people are inclined to make between “my employer” and business in general.

The Edelman report says that in 2019 75% of people globally trust their employer, while only 56% trust businesses to do the right thing. Companies can earn trust by being proactive and resourceful – employees are far more likely to trust a company that takes the lead and which comes up with new ideas and solutions. Other factors that contribute to building trust are as follows:

  • delivering on promises
  • providing job security
  • providing good benefits
  • providing equal opportunities to all employees with regards to pay and promotion
  • operating ethically

Nowadays reliable companies and trustworthy employers are those which maintain a positive public image and comply not only with national legislation but also with internal ethical rules. Companies that invest in trust-building and creating an inclusive working culture are likely to benefit in various ways. For example, employees who have trust in their employer are more eager to advocate for the company and are a great deal more loyal and committed to their job.

Maintaining horizontal ties is becoming essential for both large and small businesses and there is no reason why you shouldn't strengthen them at your company. Invest in research, find out what your employees think, and act accordingly – it won't take long before you see results!