Gaining employees’ trust should be a top priority for HR

June 12th, 2019

Fact: the modern workplace has changed enormously in the last 40 years. Technology has transformed the way we work, so much so that remote, flexible and mobile work has become a new normal. Employees no longer need to be co-located to be productive because they have the tools they need at their fingertips.

There’s a catch, though. Technology has removed many of the traditional barriers to getting a job, giving skilled and talented professionals more options than ever for the roles they pursue.

It’s easier for employees to assess the competitive marketplace, identify new opportunities and switch to new roles via online recruiting processes. This is a very different world from a generation ago, in which it wasn’t uncommon for employees to remain loyal to a single employer their entire working lives.

Today, attracting the best staff is hard… but retaining them over the long time is even harder. Employee trust has never been so important.

Why trust matters

Trust in the workplace has many elements. It includes having confidence in others, giving people freedom and creativity to do their roles, and being able to count on another person to deliver on their word. It takes time to build, but can be lost instantly.

Trust is a building block of employee engagement. It helps staff build a genuine connection with the company they work for and make a real investment in their work. Employees who trust their employer are more productive, make better decisions and are more likely to go above and beyond, particularly when things get tough.

When there’s a high-trust culture in place, organisations benefit from improved financial performance, positive company culture and a more engaged workforce.  

Yet, many organisations are struggling to cultivate a high-trust culture. A recent study on trust in the workplace found that less than half of global professionals trust their current employer (46 percent), boss (49 percent) or team/colleagues (49 percent). So, what can organisations do to turn this around?

How HR can help?

HR teams are well placed to impact the formation and maintenance of a high-trust culture. Their access to staff at all levels of seniority and across all business lines, combined with the valuable data they manage, puts HR teams in a privileged position of influence.

By understanding (and predicting!) employees’ needs, taking action to address them and keeping open lines of communication with staff, HR teams can make real traction in gaining trust with employees. Even better – there’s a wide suite of technology solutions available to make this job even easier.

Leveraging technology to build employee trust

With the ever-increasing workload, HR teams in every industry have started to embrace the power of data and automation to carry out their work more efficiently. Cloud Collective has recently released a new three-part solution, askHRplus, designed specifically for the unique needs of HR teams:

  • QBot is an AI-enabled chatbot which answers simple employee questions by drawing on an existing knowledge base. If the chatbot can’t answer a question, it notifies a HR team member to ensure it doesn’t go unmissed. This solution not only frees up HR staff to focus on higher value work, but it means that employees have access to reliable, accurate and timely responses to their important HR questions. Getting the right information out to staff when they need it is critical to building trust.
  • TeamHR is a centralised information repository that makes all important HR information available in a single location. Built for the modern workplace, it supports dynamic two-way conversations between staff and HR. Accessible information is key to building trust and HR can play a powerful role in making sure this happens.
  • Workforce Analytics builds on Power BI to generate unique insights about people, culture and organisational trends. It enables HR teams to not only understand HR trends in their organisation, but to predict them. In large organisations (where it’s just not viable to deeply understand the needs and concerns of every employee through one-on-one relationships), analytics are essential for management to measure and assess the pulse of the organisation.  

Looking forward

The expectations on HR teams aren’t slowing down. Looking forward, we can expect continued pressure on HR teams to understand employees, predict the future of work and support employees through the transition. Trust will be a fundamental part of getting this right and there’s a range of reliable and secure technology solutions to make this happen. To find out more about technology solutions that can help improve employees’ trust in your organisation, download Cloud Collective’s latest white paper: AI-driven employee engagement: How to attract and retain talent in the modern workplace.