Do employees trust their employers to do what’s right by them?

Posted on 25th September 2019

In an employment relationship, trust and confidence plays the part as an implied term of the mutual expectations between both employer and employee. It doesn’t really need spelling out, we are all humans and generally trust and confidence in each other should be a given, right?

Much of this works in the same way as it does with your relationships outside of work…

When we enter into a new relationship with a potential love, we don’t ask them to sign a contract detailing how they will trust us and have confidence in us… that would just be odd. These are things that are built over time and things that we expect.

Let’s take this a little further…

Employee Development

Just like in our relationships outside of work, initially we are analysing the performance of the other. Are they a person to build a future with? Do they possess qualities that match what I’m looking for? Importantly, when they wash-up, is it up to scratch? (because nobody likes a badly washed bowl… or is that just me?… Okay).

Of course, there are things that aren’t always perfect in the beginning, but generally speaking “bad washing up” is not a reason to cut ties. However, once you’re comfortable in the budding relationship, you’ll be sure to let them know that they could’ve washed that bowl a little better because you are all about the honesty!

In the same breath, there are times when our partner does something amazing and we applaud, congratulate and make sure they know how amazing they are. Further building on the trust and confidence.

In the employment relationship, it is much the same in that managers are analysing the performance of their employees. When something isn’t quite right, it is about approaching them with a view for improvement, but also rewarding them when they’re doing great. This honesty sets the tone for the development of a long-term employee.


Change should be something that isn’t hidden behind closed doors. It is down to managers to listen to their employees and open up that communication, whereby ideas and thoughts are shared honestly. It’s a journey to take together, maybe climbing some steep mountains along the way, but also enjoying the view from the top once you’ve succeeded.

As an example in the workplace, when we look at engagement surveys it shouldn’t just be something carried out “just because”. It’s about using that information collaboratively to discover the changes necessary and implement them. Although change will sometimes be a journey for employees, they will adapt a lot quicker if they understand the reasons behind it and what part they play in the bigger picture.


It’s no secret that trust and confidence plays a part in turnover.

If there is a fundamental breakdown of trust and confidence between employees and employers, it affects most things. As such, the Employee may feel that they would be appreciated elsewhere and look to engage in alternative employment. This can play a huge role in turnover if employers continuously display behaviours which come across negatively.

Aside from the humour around the similarities between the employment and personal relationships, it does highlight the fact that we are all human and all relationships are important. We spend a huge chunk of our time at work and therefore the employment relationship is as important as those outside of work.

It is an employers task to build on and promote a culture of trust, honesty and confidence for a fulfilling work experience all-round. There is much to be said for the statement “permit what you promote”. So concentrating on promoting positive behaviours will help people follow these examples and will help set out the expected standards.

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Charlotte Batchelor Character
Written by:
Charlotte Batchelor
HR Adviser