Every employee wants to feel safe and comfortable at work. Part of that safety comes from an employee’s ability to trust that the company they’re working for has their best interests in mind.

Table of Contents

Watch the world’s largest HR encyclopedia be built in real-time

Subscribe to get a weekly roundup email of all our new entries

What Is Employee Trust?

Employee trust is an employee’s confidence that their company will always have their best interests in mind when making decisions.

Why Is Employee Trust Important?

Employee trust is vital to a company’s culture and overall employee satisfaction. Companies with high employee trust receive more open feedback from employees, employees feel more comfortable and employees are more open to company-wide changes.

More Feedback From Employees

Employees who trust and believe in a company are more likely to give honest feedback as they won’t be worried about potential repercussions. If employees believe the company has their best interest in mind when they ask for feedback, they will be more willing to give open and honest feedback, no matter how harsh or critical it might be.

Employees Feel More Comfortable

If employees are in an environment that builds trust and always has the employees’ best interest in mind, employees will feel more comfortable. Employees ultimately want to feel safe and secure at their employment. That safety and stability comes from knowing a company is looking out for its employees, willing to listen, and willing to accept whatever feedback an employee might have.

Employees Will Be More Open-Minded

Change in an organization can be hard for employees. It can be even harder if employees don’t agree with the changes or trust the leaders making the changes. Employees who trust and believe in their leaders are likely to be more open to accept new changes.

Factors That Affect Trust in an Organization

There are many factors that can affect trust in an organization. It is important to be aware of those factors and understand how they might affect employee trust in an organization. Those factors include diversity, receptivity and follow-through on employee feedback and consistency in communication.

Diversity

Diversity can play a vital role in a company for a multitude of reasons. Employees are more likely to trust their employer if they accept and value the strengths of each of its employees. This can play a huge role in the performance of employees. According to a study done by Gartner Research, companies that are diverse and inclusive see performance improve by up to 30%. The increase in performance can help build employee trust in the company.

Implementing Employee Feedback

Companies often look for ways to improve and do better for their employees. Often this information is gathered through surveys which allow employees to give feedback. Unfortunately, companies do not always implement given feedback. According to a study done by Gartner Research, only 10% of employees are satisfied with the yearly requests they receive from their employer. Clearly, employers can do better getting feedback, implementing that feedback, and building the trust of employees.

Consistency

A key factor that affects trust in an organization is consistency. As mentioned previously, change in an organization can be hard, but it is often necessary. Before implementing change, consider how often change is happening and if it is necessary. A company that has consistent values and practices can help build employee trust.  A great example of that is Zions Bank, as they have been around for 150 years, but still strive to live their company’s culture of diversity, equality, and inclusiveness.

How to Build Trust With Employees

After understanding the why and what of employee trust, it is important to understand the how of trust and how to implement it.

Step 1: Listen

First and foremost, a company needs to be listening to its employees to build employee trust. Employees need a chance to be heard. People feel validated when they are heard. Employees who are validated ultimately trust their employer more, as they will believe the company genuinely cares about them.

Step 2: Show Appreciation

Much like listening, an employee wants to feel appreciated. When they are appreciated and that appreciation is shown, an employee feels like the company cares about them and wants what is best for them. Employees are more willing to trust their employer when they feel the employer wants what is best for them. According to a study done by Gartner, 90% of employees who receive praise or recognition from their bosses report feelings of high trust in their boss.

Step 3: Be Honest

There is nothing that destroys an employee’s trust quicker than dishonesty. If an employee can’t believe what an employer does or says, it will be quite difficult for them to trust. It is rather simple: if a company wants to build trust with an employee, it needs to be honest with them and tell the truth.

Questions You’ve Asked Us About Employee Trust

Employees and employers. Trust is a two way street, as that trust begins from the top. The leadership of a company should be transparent and honest with its employees. By doing so, it can create a culture that builds trust. An employee can help build trust by being dependable and honest in their work. Being willing to give feedback and be honest with the employer will help build trust as well since an employer will be able to see that the employee trusts them enough to give honest feedback with the expectation that they will be heard and, if needed, things will change.
Since it’s so subjective, employee trust can be hard to measure. However, you can still use the following measurement techniques to gauge employee trust: surveys asking for employee feedback; a scoring system that ranks factors of employee trust; or something as simple as a statement encompassing what employee trust is to the company and asking each employee to answer the statement personally with a yes or a no.
Tanner Pierce, PHR

Tanner has over 4 years of HR professional experience in various fields of HR. He has experience in hiring, recruiting, employment law, unemployment, onboarding, outboarding, and training to name a few. Most of his experience comes from working in the Professional Employer and Staffing Industries. He has a passion for putting people in the best position to succeed and really tries to understand the different backgrounds people come from.

Want to contribute to our HR Encyclopedia?

Posts You Might Like

The Ultimate Guide on How to Manage Employees in a Small Business

The Ultimate Guide on How to Manage Employees in a Small Business

When it comes to running a small business, we know that managing employees is often one of the most difficult tasks. People are complicated, and finding a way to keep your employees happy and productive can be challenging. This article shares specific advice for what you can do in the three phases of the employee lifecycle to get the most out of each employee.

Read More »

Want to join our network of contributing HR professionals?

Scroll to Top

Submit a Question