Trends for 2024: Trust

Trust is at the heart of good workplace culture

Can you work with someone if you don’t trust them?

When times are hard we can find that we need to have difficult conversations about the team, often conducted in private. How is that person performing? Will this person’s performance improve?

Decisions are often made by leaders that team members don’t understand or don’t have explained to them.

Gradually, unintentionally trust starts to break down. Managers make excuses for themselves, saying that normal order will be restored as soon as conditions pick up.

But it’s inescapable, good workplace culture cannot exist without trust.
That’s why the Edelman Trust Index is worth reading. It’s a brilliant analysis of how trust is created and what leaders can do to sustain it. new report was released this week. It’s timely because elsewhere new insight this week found that a quarter of employees don’t trust their CEO. Edelman says lower earners are starting to believe they’re being tricked: there is a growing trust gap between the top quartile of earners and the lowest quartile.

We often overlook the fact that trust is the basis for all good culture. I called out some of the remarkable data on this in the Work In 2024 deck.

In Slack’s August 2023 survey of over 10,000 global office workers, trust was the top determinant of employees’ productivity scores. Employees who felt trusted were 2X as productive as those who didn’t. They were 30% more likely to put in extra effort at their jobs. If we don’t feel trusted we’re twice as likely to say we’re looking for a new job.

But what role does trust play in the modern company? And how can we build it?

Mark McGinn is a senior leader at the communications agency Edelman, he talks to me about their research into trust and how we should seek to build it.

Has our organisation replaced government? Increasingly our company is the biggest thing that we believe we can have an impact on.

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You’ll strongly enjoy downloading Edelman’s Trust Barometer and also Edelman’s special Trust at Work report.