Nine in 10 Indian employees say trust in the workplace must be earned: Survey

Bengaluru: Nearly two-thirds (64%) of employees globally say trust has a direct impact on their sense of belonging at work, including four out of five employees in India (79%) and two-thirds of employees in the US (68%), Canada (65%), and Mexico (63%).

The global research from The Workforce Institute at UKG (Ultimate Kronos Group) explores the importance of elevating trust to a foundational imperative to create high-performing workplace cultures that better serve customers and their communities.

The ‘Trust in the Modern Workplace’ report is based on a global survey of nearly 4,000 employees and business leaders in 11 countries. Commissioned by The Workforce Institute at UKG and conducted by Workplace Intelligence, 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.

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

“Trust must constantly be nurtured, and when the organisation’s default position is to presume trust and good intentions, they can reimagine outdated processes and policies to focus on driving performance through a truly modern employee experience,” said Dr. Chris Mullen, executive director, The Workforce Institute at UKG.

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

More than half of global employees and business leaders (52%) say trust is higher at their organisation today than it was before the pandemic. Workplace trust improved most in India (67%), Mexico (56%), the US (53%), the UK (52%), and Australia and New Zealand (50%).

Covid-19 did force organisations to rethink entire operating models practically overnight, including the proliferation of remote work. While 55% think it is easier to trust colleagues in a physical workplace versus those working virtually, nearly two-thirds (61%) say the pandemic has positively reshaped perceptions about flexible and remote work arrangements.

“Trust is the foundation of any great team especially when they navigate through a crisis. When people feel they are trusted, they invariably do their best, both as individuals and as a collective team,” said Sumeet Doshi, country manager, India, UKG. “Organisations that understand this and create an environment that is conducive to fostering trust will see greater success as they navigate through the uncertain environment that exists today.”

Employees who do not feel trusted are less productive: four in five (81%) Indians say that the perception of low trust hurts their daily effort compared to 68% globally. Also, an overwhelming 79% of Indians feel a lack of trust affects their career choices compared to 58% globally — and 41% of respondents in India say they left a company because they did not feel trusted compared to the global average of one in four. 75% of Indian workers — and more than half of all employees surveyed globally (55%) — feel that a lack of trust impacts their mental health.

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