HR In Crisis : Rebuilding Employee Trust

Posted by Kate Smedley on 14 Apr 2016

One in three people no longer trust their employer according to Edelman’s 2016 Trust Barometer. It’s unsurprising in the same week that saw the following headlines:-

  • Caffe Nero abolished free food for staff during their breaks, shortly after the introduction of the National Living Wage.
  • B&Q removed a job advert which originally requested applicants to work three days for free and pay for their own drugs tests.
  • BP’s proposal to raise their CEO’s pay by 20% was rejected by its shareholders.

Rebuilding trust doesn’t have to be difficult

Building trust doesn’t have to be that difficult and it isn’t too late for HR to demonstrate to employees that you are listening to them. These simple strategies can help to reconnect with a workforce that feels irrelevant and undervalued:-

Speak to your people - Nearly half of all staff haven’t spoken to a representative from HR in the previous 12 months according to a YouGov survey. This will enhance the feelings of mistrust between employers and compound persistent problems with low productivity. UK workers believe that over one third of their time spent at work is unproductive but unless HR communicates with its employees, it can’t begin to identify problems in the workforce.

Value your employees : Forget age group classifications, people generally want similar things from their employers. Most want to be treated with respect, recognised for their achievements, enjoy a positive work/life balance and have access to career development opportunities. That includes people over 50 with both technical and soft skills vital to your organisation who are too often prioritised for retirement planning. Recognising your employees is a first step towards a more positive working environment. Investors In People's Job Exodus Survey  found that nearly 40% of employees wanted to leave their jobs because they don’t feel valued. A simple ‘thank you’ can begin to change that.

Pay a fair salary : Glassdoor’s 2016 Salary Survey found that over half of all employees believe they must change jobs to improve their salary. With the arrival of the Living Wage in the UK and the negative headlines over brands like Caffe Nero and BP, the pressure to pay a fair salary is growing. Controversy over the gender pay gap has fuelled the belief in a disparity between the treatment of employees and senior executives. One positive recent example, however, is the example of Richard Pennycock, Chief Executive of the Co-op, who has taken a 60% pay cut as his job has 'become easier'.

..and pay people on time : Nothing destroys trust or demotivates your employees more than persistently paying them late, but one fifth of UK workers have experienced delays, with  nearly half having been paid late on more than one occasion.

Encourage healthy sleep patterns : The World Economic Forum suggests that driving a positive change in your organisation’s performance and culture (and subsequently trust) could effectively begin by encouraging your staff to get a good night’s sleep. Much attention has been drawn to the symptoms of a chronic sleep deficit which include falling productivity, poor leadership, irritability and under-performing employees. The CIPD has recently highlighted the risk to UK businesses from failing to implement wellbeing programmes, with employee absence costing employers £554 per employee per year.

Be approachable : While a range of benefits are now legally available to employees, such as flexible working and improved parental leave, they have received a lukewarm welcome. This may in part be due to the reluctance of the majority of employees to approach HR over fundamental issues such as pay, flexible working and sick leave. 

Treat all of your people equally : It should go without saying that all people should be treated equally, but a new study found that the questionable morals of some high achievers are overlooked, providing they meet their performance objectives. This will not only contribute towards a toxic culture but also create a divide between your employees.

Work on your culture : Culture is inextricably connected to employee engagement and trust, requiring commitment from business leadership. It is not something HR can achieve in isolation. Employers must focus on providing meaningful work, best management practices and providing opportunities for growth. A positive culture gives your company a competitive edge in attracting and retaining talent. 

Review your hiring process : A bad hire has far reaching effects on motivation, morale and productivity, yet an estimated one in three workers is in the wrong job. HR spends on average two days on admin tasks per week which distracts it from focusing on what matters.  Support your hiring process with HR software which frees up your time to pay attention to your candidates.

Establish trust from the beginning. Support your talent acquisition and retention strategies with HR technology that helps you to get the basics right – hiring the right person, first time. Contact Advorto today.

You might also like to read:-

Does HR Only Have Itself To Blame For The Skills Shortage?

Fat Cat Tuesday & The Reasons UK Leadership Isn’t Working

Image Credit :

Topics: Rants

About Recruitment 2.0

Latest industry information and discussions about recruitment, talent management and HR online systems.

See all our blog posts.

Subscribe to Email Updates

About Kallidus Recruit

When recruitment gets serious, we're here to provide information on reducing cost of and time to hire, while maintaining the quality of your candidates. This blog aims to provide information, expert help and discussions across the entire talent recruitment life-cycle.

Please feel free to contact us by either starting a discussion in this group or by registering for future updates.

Try our ATS

Recent Posts