• Trust ‘critical’ for high performance workplaces, report finds

  • 3 Jul 2013
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Researchers identify eight key drivers that underpin employee trust 

Trust between staff and their employer is “critical” for driving high levels of performance and workforce motivation, research has revealed.

A report from Working Families and consultant lead researcher Susanne Jacobs, in partnership with Unum, has found a clear link between the individual, the team they work in, how they are led and their level of trust, to sustainable gains in productivity.

In the report, Trust: the key to building well-being and performance in the workplace, researchers identified eight key drivers for building trust throughout this chain.

Employers need to consider all eight of these trust drivers to move towards optimal performance, researchers said.

These include:

·         Belong and connect - The feeling that the employee feels part of and connected to their team and organisation

·         Voice and recognition – The individual’s ability to speak up in a way that allows them to influence decision making

·         Significance and position – The employees sense that they have a clear and important role in their team

·         Fairness – The understanding that individuals are evenly treated within their team and the organisation

·         Learn and challenge – The opportunity to learn and master new skills and achieve tangible results

·         Choice and autonomy – The sense of control over workplace delivery

·         Security and certainty – The sense of predictability and confidence in the workplace environment

·         Purpose – The understanding of how an individual’s role contributes and is aligned to the team and organisation’s success

“Truly understanding how individuals are motivated at work provides not just the gateway to optimal performance, something sought by every organisation, but also an environment where every person can flourish,” Jacobs said. 

“Trust and psychological wellbeing are the answer - the equation to reach that answer, starts with individual and team resilience, plus the eight drivers of trust together with a workplace that is built to support every human being within it. We know the solution and we know the tools, so let's put it into practice.”

Sarah Jackson, chief executive at Working Families, said: “This robust research provides further strong evidence of the vital importance of offering flexible working for all employees. It is clear that the external contributing factors of flexible working and work life integration are linked strongly to ‘choice and autonomy’, which is a key driver of workplace trust. Employers who build this flexible culture of trust will in turn reap the rewards of employee well-being and sustainable high performance.”

Linda Smith, HR director at Unum said: “Intuitively it makes sense that trust and employee engagement are vital for business success. However, Trust: the key to building well-being and performance in the workplace is the first study to examine and quantify not just how a trusting environment contributes to productivity, but also why.”






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  • I so agree with the details in this report and this is something I have raised in my own organisation but it has not been listened to. I am now going to use this report to try and strengthen my argument.