The Workforce Institute at UKG, an HR and workforce management provider, carried out a survey to understand the importance of elevating trust to a foundational imperative to create high-performing workplace cultures that better serve customers and their communities.

“Trust in the Modern Workplace” is based on a global survey of nearly 4,000 employees and business leaders in 11 countries. The report examines the current state of trust — especially between employees and leaders — and the opportunities organisations can create by making trust a foundational element of their employee experience.

Trust Must Be Earned

According to global research, most employees and business leaders (63 per cent) think that trust at work must be earned. Among C-level leaders, nearly three-quarters (72 per cent) believe that it is up to the employee to earn trust. Only one-third (37 per cent) of employees and business leaders around the world feel trust should be presumed.

The belief that trust must be earned is most prevalent in India (90 per cent) compared to the US (68 per cent), the UK (67 per cent), Australia and New Zealand (64 per cent), Canada (64 per cent), and France (64 per cent).

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Opportunities to Build Trust

More than half of global employees and business leaders (52 per cent) say trust is higher at their organisation today than it was before the pandemic. Workplace trust improved most in India (67 per cent), followed by Mexico (56 per cent), the US (53 per cent).

While 55 per cent think it is easier to trust colleagues in a physical workplace versus those working virtually, nearly two-thirds (61 per cent) say the pandemic has positively reshaped perceptions about flexible and remote work arrangements.

Trust Drives Business Performance

The survey revealed that nearly two-thirds (64 per cent) of employees globally say trust has a direct impact on their sense of belonging at work. This includes 4 out of 5 employees in India (79 per cent) and two-thirds of employees in the US (68 per cent).

It noted that employees who do not feel trusted are less productive: Four in 5 (81 per cent) Indians say that the perception of low trust hurts their daily effort compared to 68 per cent globally.

While an overwhelming 79 per cent of Indians feel a lack of trust affects their career choices compared to 58 per cent. Globally.

The report added that poor trust even hurts talent pools as one in five employees globally (22 per cent) actively did not refer a friend, family member, or former colleague to an open role because they did not trust their company.

The survey report showed that an overwhelming 76 per cent of Indian employees trust their organization to put employee interests ahead of profits compared to only 61 per cent of employees globally.

Commenting on the survey, Dr. Chris Mullen, Executive Director, The Workforce Institute at UKG said in an official release: “Trust must constantly be nurtured, and when the organization’s default position is to presume trust and good intentions, they can reimagine outdated processes and policies to focus on driving performance through a truly modern employee experience.”

“Trust makes it safe to pursue new innovations and challenge the status quo. It’s a critical element to deliver meaningful and connected experiences,” he added.