Productivity, retention and employee wellbeing improve when there is workplace trust

Quarter of employees have left their jobs because of a lack of trust

Being in a reliable work environment increases retention, productivity and employee wellbeing, while also promoting a better business culture, finds new research from Bupa. An examination of workplace trust and the impact on employee wellbeing reveals that over half (53 per cent) of employees considered it to be a major factor in whether they stayed or left a company. The research found that nearly a quarter of UK employees (24 per cent) have left their company due to issues around trust. Although trust is not a tangible workplace benefits, such as salary and bonuses, it is an essential variable in promoting harmony and productivity within an organisation and the study suggests how important it is within the workplace, and also the contribution it makes to the wellbeing of employees and the overall performance of a company. The study also asked employees how trust compares to other company benefits. Nearly two thirds (62 per cent) believe that trust is more important than a gym membership or company mobile, while over half value it more than a free canteen (56 per cent) and company car (55 per cent).

This ability to depend on others not only benefits the business, but could positively impact the wellbeing of colleagues in the workplace, as nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of UK employees said they would feel more motivated if trust was placed in them.  While over a fifth (22 per cent) said it would help them to feel happier and more productive at work (18 per cent).

With the average price of replacing a colleague at more than £30,0003, employee turnover represents a significant cost to UK businesses. However, the current findings make good reading for business leaders with eight in 10 employees (80 per cent) saying they currently feel trusted by their colleagues, line manager and senior leadership team, rising to 85 per cent amongst those aged 55+.

Mark Allan, Commercial Director, Bupa UK Insurance said: “Retaining talented people and boosting productivity is a key focus for many employers. As we spend the majority of our time in the workplace, it’s important we work in an environment with a good business culture. Our latest findings pay homage to this – suggesting that good relationships are more likely to boost engagement and influence whether someone stays at a company.

“Within many businesses across the UK, wellbeing is now a boardroom priority and it’s clear that trust is key to building a healthy business culture – increasing motivation, engagement and colleague retention as well as employees’ wellbeing. This latest research highlights the importance of creating a workplace culture that allows people to thrive and also that businesses are recognising the importance of promoting a trustful workplace.”

The latest study also provides helpful tips to employers who want to promote trust within the workplace. Bupa’s research reveals that business leaders and managers can promote it through:

  • Praising colleagues when they’ve completed a job (46 per cent)
  • Letting them get on with tasks independently (41 per cent)
  • Taking interest in their health and wellbeing (39 per cent)
  • Providing staff with opportunities to progress in their career (33 percent)