Fewer than half of employees in Europe feel trusted at work

trustedA new survey from Catalyst claims that only 46 percent of employees in Europe report often or always being trusted at work. This experience of being trusted is consequential; as the data highlights, when managers lead more inclusively, experiences of trust increase, and organisations as well as employees benefit.

Moreover, the study suggests that as teams become more cohesive, employees experience higher levels of trust, which, in turn, has a positive influence on innovation and engagement, and teams also become better at problem-solving.

In the survey of more than 1,700 full-time employees in five countries in Europe— United Kingdom, Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, and France—respondents indicated that having opportunities to contribute to organisational goals and being invited by colleagues to participate in decision-making are the most critical features of being trusted.

The United Kingdom have the highest levels of feeling trusted often or always at work (50 percent), followed by the Netherlands (48 percent), Sweden (48 percent), Germany (39 percent), and France (36 percent).

[perfectpullquote align=”right” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”Trust needs to be shown in action.”[/perfectpullquote]

“For all of these countries, only half or fewer than half of employees experience being trusted at work. Employers need to pay attention to this phenomenon and act to create trust as part of an inclusive work culture within organisations.” said Emily Shaffer, report author and a director in Catalyst’s Research department.


Key findings

• Forty-three percent of women experience trust often or always at their organisations, compared with 49 percent of men.
• Thirty-six percent of employees in non-management positions—compared with 54 percent of those in management positions—report that they often or always experience being trusted at work.
• Seventy-two percent of employees report experiencing a high degree of trust when their team is more cohesive, but only 25 percent experience the same levels of trust when their team is less cohesive.

“It should be concerning to leaders that over half of employees do not feel a sense of trust at work, particularly when we found that this motivates employees to do their best work,” said Allyson Zimmermann, Catalyst Executive Director, Europe, Middle East & Africa. “Trust needs to be shown in action, and we hope this data helps corporate leaders in Europe lead inclusively and promote trust as part of their organisational cultures.”