Do your employees enjoy a culture of honesty, psychological safety and mutual respect? Employees working in this type of culture are more likely to go above and beyond for you and to feel more secure. Consequently, your staff turnover is likely to be low.
Not taking trust seriously can affect productivity and employee satisfaction. Building trust can build employee engagement which can lead to a better quality of work and a sense of belonging.


The culture of your workplace is basically the character and personality of your organisation. Culture includes leadership styles, values, beliefs, behaviours and attitudes of the entire workforce.
A positive culture will prioritise the wellbeing of employees and will be supportive. Policies will encourage respect, trust empathy and support and the ethos contained in them will be followed through.

Culture of honesty and mutual respect

To achieve a culture of honesty and respect – communication is key. Employees should be familiar with the values and the expectations of the organisation and your expectations of them. Collaboration is another important aspect of a positive culture. Do your employees feel empowered? Are they happy to speak up in the workplace?

Safety in speaking up

Unless you encourage your workers to speak up at work – you may never know what they are capable of. An employee could add value to your organisation. Fear of conflict or criticism can be factors that will stop employees speaking up. Allowing your employees to say what they mean and to mean what they say can only create a contribution to the organisation which would otherwise be lost.
Allow employees to speak by inviting their opinion, letting them get a word in, not being overly critical – politely disagree if necessary and take time to consider new ideas. Encourage others within the team to listen to everyone’s opinion.

Why is trust at work important?

Trust within a team can produce a sense of safety. Employees feel safe to open up, safe with others in the team, safe to take appropriate risks and to expose things that aren’t working.

How to build trust at work

Listen to your employees, show your appreciation. If you struggle to trust your employees, coaching can help. If you had employees working from home would you trust them to be as or more productive than if they were based in the workplace? That could be a sign of whether you do or don’t trust them. Do you feel you have to micromanage all workers based on a bad experience with one? Is that really fair? Does that mean you are getting the best from your employees? Probably not.

Feedback and appreciation

If your employee has done a good job – tell him or her. Tell the other leaders in the business. Ask for feedback yourself. If there is mutual trust this shouldn’t be a problem for you.

Consistency and soft skills

Try to treat all employees with the same respect – that way they will know where they stand and will feel comfortable in speaking up or giving you feedback. Soft skills such as listening and empathising when something goes wrong can increase the trust an employee will have in you. If you feel you need to develop these soft skills, try some coaching. Remember that just one incident that isn’t totally honest can mean that it is difficult or impossible to rebuild that trust.

Contact Liz Jewer on 07803 007591 for help with this issue.

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Contact Liz Jewer on 07803 007591 if you need advice about this topic or HR related services HR Think offer.