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Do You Trust Your Employer?

Topics: Data & Research

No matter where you work or what you do, you probably want the same things most Americans want in their career: namely, job security, work-life balance, and to enjoy the work itself. But, finding this kind of overall job satisfaction can be difficult. Sometimes, a lot of positive factors have fallen into place — the money is good, the hours are at least somewhat reasonable, maybe the work itself is even enjoyable. Yet, that overarching feeling of true happiness and enjoyment remains elusive. So, what’s the deal?

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Certainly, worker happiness is a complex picture. We know that managers can have a big impact on overall job satisfaction, and that some autonomy is important to most workers.

Now, it seems as though another piece of the job-satisfaction puzzle has fallen into place, identifying another key to being happy at work. As it turns out, it all comes down to trust. Here’s what you need to know.

The Research

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A new survey by Ernst & Young of over 9,800 workers, aged 19 – 68, in eight different countries, examined trust in the workplace. A separate, smaller survey examined trust issues that were important to teens aged 16-18 (i.e., Generation Z).

“The purpose of this research is to present a global snapshot of the state of trust in the workplace today as well as to gain meaningful insight into what people around the world consider most important,” Karyn Twaronite, EY Global Diversity & Inclusiveness Officer, said in a press release. “Giving individuals a forum to voice their opinions on what factors truly influence their level of trust in an employer, boss or team, not only helps guide us as we continue to build a culture that is more inclusive of all views and differences, but also helps pave the way for us to be more progressive as modern trustworthy organizations, well into the future.”

The Findings

Let’s take a closer look at a few of the main findings of this survey.

  • Less than half of survey respondents, across countries and generations, said that they have a “great deal of trust” in their current employer, boss, or colleagues.
  • Generation X was the least likely of all the generations to place a high degree of trust in their employer.
  • Generation Z workers said that the greatest factors in determining trust in an employer are “equal opportunity for pay and promotion” and “opportunities to learn and advance in my career.”
  • Globally, and across generations, the greatest factor in determining trust was whether or not an employer “delivers on promises.”
  • Workers in India, Mexico, and Brazil were the most likely to trust their employers, whereas workers in the U.K., Japan, and the U.S. were the least likely.
  • Among those who reported a low level of trust in their company, 42 percent said that this factor would have a major influence on causing them to look for another job. Thirty percent of these respondents said that they work the minimum number of hours required. And 28 percent said that their low level of trust in their employer causes them to be less engaged and productive than they would be otherwise.

The takeaway

It’s clear to see that, all around the world, workers want to trust their employers and that they’ll work longer and harder when they do. Trusting your employer, whether it’s inspired by good pay or following through on promises, is important for your overall happiness and productivity.

Be sure to check out the full results of this survey for more information.

Tell Us What You Think

How does your level of trust in your employer impact how you do your job? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.


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C Perkins
C Perkins

I wonder how long it will take for HR teams to develop a scheme for improving trust artificially. My guess is that companies that can be trusted already have trustworthy behavior. Of course, there must be a system of communications and feedback for the trust to be developed, but true trustworthiness will be deeply rooted in company philosophy and management behavior. Artificially injecting “warm fuzzies” into corporate communications, or a deliberate push to be more “transparent”, will not develop a… Read more »

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