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Do you trust your employer?


The global PR company Edelman recently released a new piece of research – the Edelman Trust Barometer 2016 – aimed at investigating the level of trust which exists between employees and their employers. Surveying more than 33,000 respondents across 28 countries, the company hailed the results as a “wake-up call for every business leader who fails to consider the importance of trust”.


As we have seen in previous blogs, trust is a crucial component in building the employee engagement levels an organisation needs to get the most from its workers and operate at is most effective. It helps connect employees with an organisation strategic vision, and it turns a workforce into brand advocates who will happily and positively speak about an organisation.


Among the leading findings of the survey was a considerable disparity between the trust executive had in the company they worked for (64 per cent ), compared with the trust of non-management employees (48 per cent). Individuals at a managerial level were in-between – at 51 per cent – showing a clear downward trajectory of trust as you move down the organisational hierarchy.


The Edelman researchers suggest that this limited trust can have significant impact on a company’s effectiveness in the wider market, with some evident disparity between the importance that consumers place on various facets of an organisation, and a company’s actual adjudged performance. The difference between the two, they suggest, might be made up by employees who trust their employers and will actively advocate for them. For example, 58 per cent of consumers said that it was important that a company “treats employees well”, while only 33 per cent of companies were thought to be doing so.


51 per cent of consumers also stated that it was important that a company “has ethical business practices”, while only 31 per cent were judged to actually manage this.


In both examples, employees who are engaged and who trust their employers will be more inclined to be a positive source of information on the company, helping to –in turn – build trust between consumer and company.


In the technological world we live in, with everyone connected near-permanently by social media and the internet, it is crucial not to underestimate the importance of such sources of information about a firm. Of course, the advantages of an engaged employee-base goes beyond brand advocacy, but by linking employee trust to business performance in such a clear-cut method, it helps guarantee companies will place trust centre-stage.
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