How Trust Encourages a More Secure Workforce

  • Author: Meghan Stewart

There’s no doubt trust is essential to every kind of relationship—between managers and employees, family members, and friends. When you trust someone, you believe what they say and have confidence they will live up to their promises.

Trust is critical to the employee experience because it is the foundation for building honest, respectful relationships. It also helps create an environment where employees feel more connected and secure at work.

The Power of Trust in the Employee Experience

In our recent Employee Connections Study, we surveyed over 400 employees to discover the drivers of employee connections in the workplace. In our analysis, we discovered a segment of super-connected employees who enjoyed a positive employee experience. Not only did these “Secure Employees” feel safe and secure in their roles, but they were also more likely than other employee segments to have a high level of trust at work. Most of them agreed with the following statements:

  • I can trust my employer to do the right thing.
  • My organization tells its employees the truth.
  • I can always tell my employer what I really think.
  • I know what my organization will do in difficult situations.

Given these findings, it makes sense to take a deeper dive into how trust improves the employee experience and what you can do to leverage trust for maximum benefit to your workforce.

Here are three ways trust promotes a more secure and connected workforce:

1. Reassures employees of fairness and equity

In a recent Catalyst study, only 37% of surveyed employees said their organization had fair organizational processes. However, you can improve employees’ perceptions of fairness by building their trust in your ability to provide equitable access to everything your organization has to offer, including fair pay, benefits, and opportunities for growth. By practicing transparent decision-making, clearly communicating company policies and practices, and acknowledging errors when they occur, you help employees see that they will be treated fairly and can trust their manager and the organization to act with honesty and integrity. 

2. Helps employees become more confident

When employees have more trust in their manager, coworkers, and senior leaders, they can reliably predict how those individuals will behave in a range of scenarios. This gives employees more confidence in performing their work and interacting with their team. In an environment of trust, they can feel free to take measured risks and make bold suggestions, because they know how their manager and team are likely to react.

One of the best ways to build employee confidence with trust is to be consistent. Managers who demonstrate trustworthiness show their employees they’re not “hot and cold,” but rather that they are consistent in their desire to connect and build a trusting, respectful relationship. 

3. Allows employees to show their true selves at work

Trust provides employees with psychological safety. It assures them it’s safe to say what they think, ask questions, and express their doubts. When employees are free to speak freely, they can bring their whole selves to work.

To create more opportunities for employees to feel safe being themselves, take deliberate action to include employees with different views, abilities, and perspectives. You can also make it okay to discuss topics employees are thinking about but may not feel safe bringing up at work, for example, mental health, diversity and inclusion, and aspects of company culture that need improvement.

Add More Trust to the Employee Experience

Trust takes time to build and effort to maintain. When you successfully increase trust in the workplace, you create several new avenues for employees to connect with each other, their manager, and the entire organization. To learn more, download our Employee Connections Study and continue reading our blog.

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