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Trust brings engagement

Public lack of trust in politicians and business leaders broke down in the wake of the MPs’ expenses scandal and failures at Staffordshire NHS Trust, Barclays and HSBC. Now a new report from Westminster Business School confirms that building and maintaining trust with their teams is a critical part of a line manager’s role.

As global researchers of trust in the workplace, this is something we’ve known for more than 25 years. As well as being critical for line managers, trust is critical for senior leaders. Senior leaders, whatever the size of the organisation, set the culture and values by their behaviours and actions, and while it needs no explaining why anyone – leadership, line manager or staff – needs to be trustworthy, it’s worth looking at what we mean by ‘”trust”.

The importance of trust as a driver of engagement is often overlooked

While we would prefer our leaders not to fiddle their expenses or falsify records, trust in the workplace means:

  • Having the skills and competence to lead the business
  • Providing appropriate systems and processes to support employees in their job
  • Allowing employees to get on with their jobs without constantly looking over their shoulders
  • Treating everyone fairly, no favouritism
  • Keeping promises or commitments
  • Supporting employees when needed, particularly at different life experiences such as bereavement or serious illness.


While the importance of these trustworthy behaviours is understandable, the importance of trust as a driver of engagement is often overlooked. With engagement in the UK at around a low 30 per cent, anything an organisation can do to improve trust will help improve and maintain engagement.


We can help you understand the levels of trust in your organisation, what kind of behaviours are negatively impacting on employees, and how you can help your managers improve their management skills to help transform individual, team and business performance.


If your organisation has high levels of trust and engagement, you could also be recognised as one of the UK’s Best Workplaces, an award highly sought after for its impact on employer branding. As a Best Workplace, you can tell the world you’re a great employer, business and brand.

Contact us today to find out more.

0870 608 8780


“… honesty and the ability to do the job: two things which my managers do not have.”

“There is generally poor communication between management and staff which causes confusion and compromises trust.”

“… for my managers to be consistent in what is expected of me… also would like to feel trusted and not feel like I’m being watched over my shoulder constantly. I have been in the job so many years my managers know I am trustworthy and reliable.”

“Honesty and transparency would go a long way to generate respect which is sadly lacking in my manager…”

“We used to have a manager who took the time to say ‘good morning’ every day with a smile. Means a lot when you know your boss cares how you are doing.”

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