Trust is the basis of all strong relationships. Without trust, there can be no open communication, no improvement, and ultimately, no success.
A Towers Watson Workforce Study shows that only 55% of surveyed employees in the United States had “trust and confidence” in their senior leaders. This lack of trust between employer and employee can negatively affect a company’s bottom line. In order for companies to curb this trend, organizations must understand the components of a positive employee experience, and the tools they need to rebuild trust among the workforce.
HR departments are spending $720 million a year trying to engage employees through enjoyable workplace culture and trendy workspaces, but these short-term solutions don’t actually increase employee trust. To rebuild and strengthen the trust your employees have in your company, you need to look at all angles of the employee experience.
What defines the employee experience?
It can be hard to pin down the exact definition of employee experience. Is it the daily experiences of your workers? Their overall career trajectories?
The answer is: a little bit of everything. There is nothing your employees feel, think or experience during the course of their employment that doesn’t fit into the larger picture of employee experience. James Morgan from Forbes adds to this, saying that there are cultural, physical, and technological aspects through which you can frame your company’s employee experience.
This framework means that companies cannot simply throw money into the cultural or physical aspect of their organization to expect employees to have a better overall experience. With the employee experience being tied in part to the emotional response of each worker, companies are encouraged to invest in those aspects of their workplace if they want to retain the trust of their workforce.
How a lack of trust kills employee productivity
Having a weak understanding of employee experiences can cause a disconnect between employer representatives and their workforce. Your employees need to be able to trust that their wellbeing matters or they won’t stay too long.
In fact, Workforce.com reported that organizations with low levels of trust between employers and employees had 50% more turnover than companies that fostered more trustworthy employer-employee relationships.
Turnover doesn’t just cost you money, it can actually prevent talented recruits from applying to your company. Poor employee experiences aren’t a well-kept secret, and if your employees don’t have a high level of trust in your company, that word will get out.
All of these elements affect the bottom line, as SHRM reports that companies with positive employee experiences earned four times higher average profits.
How can HR departments and mid-level management officials curb this trend for their companies? It ultimately comes down to fostering communication channels between different levels of management and offering helpful resources for employees to better their overall well-being.
Prioritize employee-employer relationships
Many employers fall into the trap of thinking they can set up a few rec rooms in their office building and call it a day. The truth is that building solid trust and relationships with your employees is a continual investment. You need to provide your employees with the ongoing support they need to keep their personal, financial and professional lives balanced.
1.- Employee mental health and retention rates
Gone are the days where mental health was viewed as a personal problem. The modern company needs to consider how its policies and culture impact the mental health of its employees. The CDC reports that nearly 1 in 5 Americans aged 18 or older suffered from mental illness in 2016 – no doubt many of these people were regular office employees.
Not only can mental illness hamper an individual’s work performance, it can disrupt their physical well-being. But investing in this element of the workplace is easier than one might think, as communication structures are already in place to facilitate these conversations. Employers can offer mental health self-assessment tools, provide wellness coaches and advisors, and even clinical screenings for depression.
A good way for employees to keep track of mental health is through technology-based monitoring. A 2016 study published by the BMJ found that technology-based mental health monitoring programs helped subjects get a better grasp of their mental state. Netwellth offers similar technology driven wellness strategies, such as a mobile app that helps employees monitor their day-to-day progress toward stronger mental stability.
By taking an interest in employees’ mental health, companies can improve the employee experience by building trust among employees and management. This allows businesses to retain a much healthier and happier workforce down the line.
2.- Employee financial wellness and workplace performance
PWC reports that 58% of their surveyed employees are regularly stressed about their financial situation. The current pandemic is putting a stranglehold on already struggling workers, many of whom live each week paycheck by paycheck. As 38% of employees admit they have less than $1000 saved in emergency funds, there is a sense of surviving week by week for modern employees.
Individual finances can have a detrimental effect on workplace performance. When employees are constantly stressed about their finances, their overall employee experience diminishes, and so does the bottom-line. The John Hancock Retirement fund found that businesses lose almost $1,900 a year, per employee because of the loss of productivity related to financial stress.
Employees prefer having financial stability and looking into long-term solutions for their financial woes. A report by Kronos shows that 74% of surveyed workers prefer to work for companies that offer financial planning, budgeting, and automatic saving tools.
Offering comprehensive crisis management programs can illustrate how much management and HR actually care about their employees. A financial wellness coach is often utilized to help employers identify employee troubles, as well as offer financial education and wellness strategies to workers.
This can go a long way in rebuilding trust between employees and higher-ups. Reaching out to employees and taking a vested interest in their financial wellness is both an important step in rebuilding trust between management and the workforce, and improving your company’s overall productivity.
Creating and maintaining a wholistic employee experience
The employee experience is not defined by a single aspect. Employers have to take the initiative towards addressing the cultural, physical, and technological elements of the workplace. By building a comprehensive framework towards improving the employee experience, companies can mend the trust between them and employers, ultimately leading to improved productivity down the line.