Trust: Employee Engagement Category Number 4

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Employee Engagement – Trust

“Trust takes years to build, seconds to break, and forever to repair.” I mean, you probably don’t want to hang around for a few years until you might potentially feel like you can trust your company… But I think the point stands.  Trust is an incredibly delicate, yet important aspect of employee engagement. Which is why we thought it necessary to add it into our 5 Categories.

If you’re like me, you’ve been lucky enough to work for a company with some questionable business practices. My favourite example is the one business that forced a poor chap to jump in a lake on threat of losing their job (on my first day no less). Fun! 

Yes, this is an extreme example. However it set the tone for a host of other issues that almost seemed designed to crush any semblance of a trusting workplace. 

Having experienced an environment like that, it came as no surprise to see that 58% of survey respondents would trust a stranger over their boss. Now despite the humorous situations that could emerge from that, it’s a really powerful statistic. 

Trust scores share a direct correlation with employee engagement. Which as we know, improves employee performance, production, retention, customer satisfaction, and a whole lot more. So it’s a real shame to see that so many employees would trust Joe Bloggs from down the road, over their boss. 

Of course, we’re going to help you identify where you might be slipping up in creating that trusting environment you really need to have. Read on for our 4 pillars of Trust, and why each is a crucial part of the category. 

Trust Pillar 1 - Grievances

Pillar 1 – Grievances

So, you’ve got a big problem at work that you’d like to talk to someone about. But the person you need to speak to sits in a remote office somewhere; protected by a three headed dog, and a live-action chess game (Shout out to the Harry Potter fans). Although don’t worry, there’s a suggestion box in the break out area that you can use instead…

Of course the big problem with this is that boxes can’t actively listen. And you certainly can’t nip a growing issue in the bud if it’s just sat in said box. Having an effective grievance process means employees feel some kind of control in the workplace. They feel valued that you’re willing to put everything on hold for them, and ultimately, you’ll help keep them happy and away from your competitors. 

Trust Pillar 2 - Transparency

Pillar 2 – Transparency

Time to bombard you with some stats because I think they largely speak for themselves when it comes to Transparency:

  • 64% of leaders make business wide decisions without getting some form of input from their staff. 

So yeah, it’s a pillar that is really important to employees and Trust as a whole. But it’s something that’s missing from a lot of companies. 

Remember, the point is not to be open about every little thing that goes on. You don’t need to tell your employees what you had for dinner last night (unless it was a Dominos, in which case definitely tell me for that food-envy). But being open about business issues, strengths, weaknesses etc, will help your employees feel more aligned. 

Pillar 3 - Suggestions

Pillar 3 – Communication & Suggestions (Upwards)

More stats! In a recent survey, 38% of employees said they tend to lack initiative after having suggestions shut down by managers. Albeit this isn’t quite as dramatic as some of the others I’ve mentioned, but if you’re stifling the creative juices of over a third of your employee base, you’re missing out on a valuable resource. 

Even if the suggestion isn’t something that can be easily implemented, or something silly like beer on tap (but if you have one we can talk about my future employment in the comments section), it’s imperative that you listen to your staff and openly communicate potential solutions. Ignoring any suggestions that are highlighted is an effective way to silence your staff, and stop those suggestions coming in altogether. 

Trust Pillar 4 - Employee Trust

Pillar 4 – Employee Trust

We’ve talked about the employee trusting the company, but how about if the roles are reversed? Are you managing your employees a little bit too closely? Do you give them a chance to prove themselves in the office? Do you treat everyone fairly? All of these are employee engagement killers. 

Back in 2016, a study by PwC found that employees who felt trusted in the workplace felt 76% more engaged than those in low-trust environments. So ditch the outdated management practices and let your employees do the jobs you hired them to do. Your balance sheet will thank you for it. 

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. But for now. It’s about everything we need to tell you about our Trust category, for now. As time goes on, we’ll write some articles on each specific pillar, so keep an eye out for them. 

Pillars & Categories for Trust

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read this! I trust that you’ve enjoyed it. Have you got any workplace horror stories that trump mine? Let us know! 

More seriously, if you need a hand to see how trust levels affect your business, you can get in touch with us at or on 01243 958710.

(PS, check out our other categories and articles here!)

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