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Want to build trust in the workplace? Hire the right people

By Johanna Diago
-    Feb 29, 2024
Credit : GMI Post

We’ve heard it many times: Trust is integral to organizational success because it helps achieve common goals. Maybe we’ll need to hear it again because trust in the workplace remains very important, particularly with the emergence of working from home and hybrid arrangements.

In January 2024, a study from MIT Sloan Management Review showed that if there is a high level of trust between employers and employees, motivation increases by at least 260%, and absenteeism declines by around 41%.

Unfortunately, in many corporate environments, fostering trust is difficult to accomplish because our colleagues are our first-level competitors.

This means that we are subjected to the same system for rewards and punishments. We mostly have the same, limited number of growth opportunities. We report to the same supervisors and managers who have their own biases. Plus, there is constant pressure to communicate, collaborate, smile, and project an aura of overall job satisfaction.



The truth? Being a corporate professional is hard


Once in a while, you may find your best friend or future partner in the workplace. They are rare blessings. More often, colleagues essentially remain strangers who have to function smoothly like a well-oiled machine to achieve a common goal.

Is this, honestly, a realistic expectation? If you have a hand in policy formation, you might just be the person to address this.


The solution? Invest in your recruitment process


While it might not be obvious, the first step to ensuring cohesion and healthy competition within an organization is the soundness of one’s recruitment process.

A 2023 study by the Forbes Human Resources Council shows that 87% of HR leaders believe that the first step in establishing trust in the workplace is recruiting employees who are the perfect fit.

After all, companies are made up of people from different backgrounds so there will always be a subculture to the company culture. An effective HR manager/recruiter will invite someone who can contribute to the group dynamic and be at ease with the organizational values and structure, whether formal or informal.

When one can empathize with other persons because they have similar goals, feelings, values, and experiences, an adversarial mindset can soften into a more open and hospitable one.

Other approaches that increase trust and healthy competition include having well-defined pay structures, active leadership, communication channels, and growth opportunities. At the bare minimum, investing in one’s HR and recruitment process can help engage employees, build trust, and ultimately, help businesses achieve their goals.

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