In employee engagement



Do you trust your current supervisor? Manager? Department Head? General Manger? Company Executives?

I think we can all agree that trust is part of the foundation of any group, business or relationship. Of course, there are other components that influence, but today I am focusing on TRUST.

Assuming we agree that trust is important, I am sure you can see how it would affect the employee engagement. I recently read an article by Ernst & Young about trust in the workplace. Less than 50% of professionals trust their employer. WOW, that is an amazing statistic if you think about it…Why is trust, an already agreed component of the foundation of any organization, so hard to find? According to the article the 5 main reasons:

  • Unfair employee compensation
  • Unequal opportunity for pay and promotion
  • Lack of leadership
  • High employee turnover
  • Work environment not conducive to collaboration

Issues that revolve around “unfair” and “unequal” can be perception based issues, meaning that my perception of fair and your perception of fair are different. These are the most difficult issues. Typically, they are present due to the lack of expectations being set during the onboarding process as well as ongoing. For instance, if you set pay/workload expectations in the beginning, it is less likely for it to become a fairness issue…it would also be beneficial to continue to set those expectations.

Each of these top reasons could also have multiple reasons or issues within…for instance, turnover. What causes the turnover? I think you see where I am going with this…it’s a mess. A tangled mess that we have created by forgetting what is important in our lives, both at home and at work.



Happy group of people standing together


People and the relationships that we have are important. When we start to focus on the P&L or the sales numbers and we forget that people are the ones that are responsible for those numbers…we kind of lose touch.

If your company is not where everyone wants it to be (most companies) then how are you attempting to grow and achieve your goals? If you have a trust issue within the organization, I don’t care what your goals are or how your plan to achieve them…unless you fix the trust issue…you are spinning your wheels.

Fix your trust issues and then you will have a lot better chance of moving forward towards your goals. You have already read the top 5 reasons for lack of trust…here are a few that I have encountered in my research:

  • Boss says one thing but does another
  • Power abuse – My way or the highway
  • Disrespectful behavior from the boss towards an employee
  • Boss being late to meetings
  • Boss lacks confidentiality with personal matters
  • Gossiping
  • Boss who doesn’t know how to coach
  • Boss who speaks poorly of customer/guest/client
  • Boss who raises voice in conversation to intimidate
  • Boss who bullies

I’m sure you have experienced some of the above and would agree that these types of behaviors usually make one think…How in the world did they get into their position?

If you are attempting to “fix” your trust issues, then the opposite would tend to build trust:

  • Walk the Walk and Talk the Talk
  • Open leadership – Learn from all
  • Respect everyone always
  • Be prompt – Go early and stay late
  • Keep all confidences to yourself
  • Do not allow gossip – extinguish it immediately
  • Manage processes – Coach people
  • Positive speech only
  • Maintain self-control always
  • Be professional, diplomatic and courteous always


Coaching leadership on these skills will benefit the entire organization. You will start to see a significant change in all areas as you build trust. Remember that building trust is just like any other project, it takes time. Be patient, and work at it with persistence daily.

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