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TD Magazine Article

Building the Foundation of Trust

A lack of trust between executives and employees causes apathy.


Mon Jun 03 2024

Building the Foundation of Trust

Almost half of executives agree that productivity is the biggest risk companies face if employees don't trust their employers, according to PwC's 2024 Trust Survey. While companies have traditionally viewed trustfulness as a way to attract and retain talent, the biggest risk to losing trust isn't that employees leave the company; instead, they stay and work half-heartedly.

The gap between how employers and employees feel about trust in the workplace is steadily widening, according to survey results. While 86 percent of 548 business executives believe employee trust is high, only 67 percent of 2,039 employees highly trust their employers.


That gap may be the result of subjective internal metrics such as customer satisfaction and employee engagement. PwC points out that companies that go beyond those "partial measures" can better identify how to keep staff truly engaged.

The problem may come from the top. Among those surveyed, C-suite-level executives trust each other less than do non-C-suite workers. "A lack of trust at the highest level can potentially lead to other issues affecting the ability of the business to decide on and follow through on the company strategy," according to PwC.

PwC recommends the following actions so executives can build more trust within their organizations.

Acknowledge the trust gap. Measuring trust requires more than measuring subjective metrics. Address the trust gap between executives and stakeholders.

Take on trust opportunities as a team. Trust is a collective responsibility for everyone within a company. Executives should work hard to ensure trust is central to their business strategy.


Focus on building a culture of trust. Build trust within the C-suite as a foundation, then offer training and mentoring programs as well as career development opportunities to foster both employee trust and engagement.

Develop a stakeholder engagement plan. Outline a proper communication strategy to ensure executives and stakeholders are always on the same page. Trust is fluid, so needs and wants will evolve. Plan accordingly.

Tell the company's story consistently. Align the organization's narrative with published materials. Don't allow conflicting messaging to build confusion and mistrust.

Embed trust in new areas from the start. When implementing a new program or technologies, remain transparent with stakeholders to build trust from the beginning of the process.

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June 2024 - TD Magazine

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