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  • Writer's picture Dylan Lambert

Trust at Work

Updated: Jun 2, 2023

Why it’s a vital part of Employee Engagement

We recently hosted an event called 'Employee Engagement is at a Breaking Point' at Meta's King's Cross offices, where the concept of Trust at Work was explored by our keynote Jenni Field (Redefining Communications), speaker Mark Cotton (North East Ambulance Service), and panellists Stephen Lee (Warner Brothers Discovery) and Matthew Burgess (Work Networks).

Following the event, we at Work Networks have a renewed sense of optimism that our focus will remain on strengthening human connections at work, with building Trust at Work being a key component.

'Employee Engagement is at Breaking Point' - February 2023

Transparency and two-way communication are essential for building trust in the workplace. Get the Internal Communications & Collaboration platform that will help you improve both!

This post will teach you more about the value of trust in the workplace, as well as some best practices for building and maintaining trust, and reference real world experience spoken about during our event.


Top Reasons Why Trust in the Workplace is Critical Today

Some of you may have already worked in a company where people are untrustworthy, disinterested, disloyal, or uncommunicative. If so, you understand how difficult it is to struggle and succeed in such a work atmosphere. This is exactly how employees in low-trust environments feel.

A stressful and unfavourable working environment is created when there is a negative working environment. Employees in such organisations withhold their abilities, creativity, enthusiasm, and passion. As a result, they lose productivity, innovative capacity, competitive edge, and other benefits.

Teamwork and collaboration benefit from trust

The level of trust in the workplace has a significant impact on how people interact and work on the same project. Nowadays, the majority of employees work from home or do hybrid work, and for many frontline workers an office has never existed. As a result, employers have begun to recognise the significance of developing trust.

Poor employee communication is the most common cause of poor collaboration in most circumstances. The first step towards creating trustworthy and productive workplaces is to encourage open and honest communication, like what Helen Ray and Mark Cotton have done so using Workplace from Meta at North East Ambulance. Connect with us to dive more into their story.

“For a CEO covering such a geographically dispersed workforce, she is incredibly visible to all staff and very open and accessible (through Workplace). It means a lot to our staff”. - Mark Cotton, Assistant Director of Communications & Engagement, North East Ambulance Service NHS Trust
Mark Cotton speaking at 'Employee Engagement is at Breaking Point' - February 2023

Trust boosts organisational alignment

Employees who trust their employers are far more likely to collaborate in order to achieve the same fundamental company goals.

However, such organisational alignment is difficult to create, particularly in huge industrial organisations with sites all over the world. Organisations must do a far better job of expressing their core corporate values, mission, and vision to their employees in order to get everyone on the same page.

Trust boosts efficiency, participation, and production

According to Gallup's global workplace report for 2022, only 9% of workers in the UK felt engaged or excited about their work, placing 33rd out of 38 European countries, with disengagement costing a company up to 34% of the employee's pay.

What does this have to do with workplace trust? A lot! 96% of engaged employees trust management, but only 46% of disengaged employees do.

Aside from engagement, research shows that highly trusted workplaces benefit from:

  • A 50% higher employee productivity

  • 106% more energy at work

  • 13% fewer sick days

Furthermore, companies with high levels of trust outperform companies with low levels of trust by 186%.


Trust improves decision-making

Trust works both ways in highly trusted workplaces. Employees trust their bosses and other executives, while managers trust their staff.

When there is such synergy, managers are more likely to empower their staff to make their own decisions, and employees have the confidence and courage to do so.

Trust reduces job stress and burnout

Employees who trust their bosses experience 74% less stress and 40% less burnout, according to the studies described above.

Because stress and burnout have a detrimental impact on employee motivation and productivity, organisations are looking for solutions to remove these rising workplace concerns. To do so, they have no choice but to foster workplace trust!

Employers must discover ways to develop business cultures that support transparency, as well as communicate with their workers on a regular basis, in order to reduce stress levels within the organisation.

Jenni Field delivering her Keynote session at 'Employee Engagement is at Breaking Point' - February 2023

Employee loyalty and retention are enhanced by trust

Employee turnover is frequently followed by employee burnout. Furthermore, according to Accenture data, employees who are burned out are 2.5 times more likely to leave their current workplace.

According to the same study, 67% of US workers feel burned out occasionally, frequently, or constantly, and they are 63% more likely to call in sick. Employees may not feel comfortable speaking up about such thoughts because they are generally caused by dread and anxiety about their work.

Similarly, one-third of employees said they would stay with a business longer if its executives maintained their promises, and 28% said they would stay if transparency was practised at all levels.

Change resistance is overcome via trust

Many employers had to make considerable modifications to their operations and Human Capital Management during the pandemic.

It wasn't simple for everyone to adjust to remote employment. Companies had to adjust swiftly and coordinate their entire workforce with the new efforts. However, most people dislike change. Obtaining staff buy-in and participation is critical for the success of a change. Internal communications, like many other instances, play an important part in explaining the importance of change and guiding people through it.

When communication is effective, trust in the workplace grows, giving employees more confidence in your company's decisions and new projects.

Trust boosts creativity and innovation

People are more likely to innovate and come up with innovative solutions when they feel free to speak, share their ideas, and trust their employers and superiors.

Secondly, research shows that when individuals have more trust in the workplace, they are 23% more likely to provide more ideas and solutions.


Remember that fostering a culture of trust rather than fear fosters collaboration and a creative workplace. Employees who are terrified of making mistakes or of being penalised are significantly less likely to take initiative, despite the fact that risk is vital to creativity.

Stephen Lee participating on the panel during 'Employee Engagement is at Breaking Point' - February 2023

In Stephen Lee’s Every Voice campaign that he talked about, he demonstrates how leaders can take the first step toward trust using Workplace, sharing deeply personal experiences of discrimination and struggle with employees, which inspired them to share their own stories, leading to a flood of improvement initiatives from across the organisation.


Summary

Jenni Field’s maxim that “Disengagement = Distrust” puts human perspective over that of surveys and numbers. Stephen Lee and Mark Cotton have used Workplace from Meta, at Warner Brothers Discovery and North East Ambulance respectively, to help foster Trust at their workplace. In both cases it is strong leadership and an inclusive culture of access to that leadership despite geographical obstacles that has spearheaded their success.


Would you like to know how we can help you foster Trust to benefit your entire organisation? We’d be happy to talk to you more about ways both Workplace and Our Services can bring your organisation closer together through the power of human connection, with Trust at its heart.




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