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Home > News > Why trust, not treats, is the key to employee engagement

February 22, 2022

Why trust, not treats, is the key to employee engagement

While it’s been a rocky ride for the last couple of years, in a world where trust is a premium product, employers remain the most trusted of institutions.

This is the finding from the annual Edelman Trust Barometer, a global survey of over 36,000 respondents. Edelman found that the past year has accelerated a cycle of mistrust, fueled by a lack of faith in media and government. Through disinformation and division, these two institutions are feeding the cycle and exploiting it for commercial and political gain.

In this climate, people are looking to the business world for truth and stability.  At 61%, ‘business’ was rated by survey respondents as the most trusted institution, ahead of NGOs at 59%, government at 52% and media at only 50%. More tellingly, 77% percent of respondents trust “My Employer,” making the relationship between employer and employee incredibly important.

Keeping that credibility isn’t about flashy rewards and treats. Instead, trust built on visible consistent behaviours from leaders brings a much bigger reward – a feeling of safety.

Being absolutely sure that the information you need to share with your employees reaches them in the way that is most useful to them is key to building trust. Making information difficult to access, or convenient for the sender, rather than the receiver of the information simply creates a feeling of being left out – and erodes trust further. Regularly checking that information has been understood in the way you need it to be is also an essential part of building organisational trust. It can be so easy for information to be lost in translation, yet the act of caring enough to check that people share the same understanding is powerful.

Organisations that prioritise building trust will be the ones best able to face future challenges through the engagement and commitment of their employees.

Need to really get to grips with how information is shared with your employees and how it’s received? We specialise in Internal Communication and Engagement reviews, contact us at and let’s talk about what you need.