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HR Trust: The Relationships Between Employees and Their HR Departments


A healthy relationship between employees and their HR departments is essential to the success of any company. However, many factors can get in the way of this relationship. Trust is one of them.

Trusting your HR department means more than just trusting them with sensitive data about you, it also means believing that they are doing what’s best for your career. Moreover, fostering trust in HR goes beyond individual interactions—it encompasses the systems and processes in place. For instance, in the UK, HR systems play a pivotal role in shaping employees’ perceptions of their workplace. When these systems are transparent, efficient, and prioritize employees’ well-being, it reinforces the trust employees have in the HR department. An HR systems UK streamlines communication, ensures fair policies, and promotes transparency regarding career progression not only bolsters employee confidence but also strengthens the bond between employees and the HR department. Trust becomes not just an interpersonal dynamic but an inherent attribute of the HR systems UK companies implement, contributing significantly to a healthier and more successful work environment.

A new UK trust in HR survey (as seen in  cezannehr.com/infographics/trust-in-hr/ ) was conducted to identify how trust affects the relationships between employees and their HR departments, as well as some ways that both parties can increase trust levels in order to have a better working environment together.

What if employees don’t trust HR?

If an employee doesn’t have any trust towards their company’s HR department then there need to be changes put into place immediately because this will affect how hard people try on a day-to-day basis which creates less productivity overall.

Trust might seem like it takes years to build up but with the right kind of human resources software, HR departments can make sure they’re making decisions that contribute to a better work environment for everyone involved.

With businesses having access to online HR systems, this can then provide ultimate transparency between employees and HR as all communication records relating to appraisals, payroll, time management, and holiday requests can be stored in one place and employees would, therefore, not need to be concerned or worried about how their personal data might not be treated with confidentiality.

Why do Employees and HR Teams Need to Trust Each other?

Trust is one of the most important factors when it comes to relationships in general, whether they are personal or professional. Trust is what lets you know that an individual is reliable and worthy of your time, attention and energy.

It allows people to open up more easily with each other, which can lead to better communication opportunities throughout all levels of a business organisation.

When employees don’t trust their HR departments, there tend to be issues with productivity. Employees will find ways around their problems without communicating them properly because they feel like no one cares about their concerns or complaints – this consequently means that management doesn’t get feedback on how things could improve within the company culture either.

If managers aren’t made aware of any issues that their employees are having, then they cannot resolve them and address the root of the problems.

When HR teams don’t trust their employees either, it can lead to a lack of motivation. Trust is also linked with higher levels of job satisfaction as well as overall employee engagement – if managers do not treat or communicate with their team members in an open and honest way, this will impact how they feel about working at that company.

COVID’s Impact of trust in HR

The COVID-19 pandemic is a global event that could have contributed towards there being a major fall in trust in HR departments but that would appear not to be the case as per Cezanne’s survey.

32.1% declared that employees trust their HR departments more now than prior to when the pandemic first started, while 54.1% trust them the same and 13.8% trusted them less.

If employers didn’t show trust in their employees, then it’s possible that they may not have gone back to work after the pandemic and this could’ve left many businesses struggling without workers.

The pandemic would have resulted in many businesses having to rethink and adapt for their working processes to adhere to government protocols and keep employees safe with the implementation of remote working.

Providing employees with the ability to work remotely along with more flexibility of working hours would have been one way that allowed trust levels with HR to have improved over the past 18 months or so.

Factors That Affect Trust

Trust can be affected by how other companies handle employee information as well as what kind of data is collected. There need to be clear policies on who has access to sensitive data so no one feels like their privacy isn’t being respected or valued enough which could lead to a lack of trust with the current system at hand.

Trust takes time to build but can quickly go away if people are mistreated or feel like they aren’t getting enough security with their sensitive data.

31% of UK employees stated that they weren’t sure or had any belief that their HR team could respect their privacy or confidentiality.

Additionally, trust in HR can be affected due to perceived favouritism at the workplace and how businesses handle internal matters. 45% of respondents declared that they would trust HR to act impartially, while 43% believe that senior staff are favoured more compared to the 12% of junior staff.

If someone does something wrong, there need to be repercussions put in place so no one feels like they’re above consequences when needed because if punishments are necessary, nobody should get off scot-free.

Mistakes happen but there need to be clear rules on who gets fired or demoted if things don’t go according to plan; this way, employees will be more likely to work harder and take things seriously.

Trust is built from consistency, so if something happens that goes against what was agreed upon in the past, there needs to be a “comeback” plan put into place for when similar mistakes occur again down the line.