POSTED: March 05 2018
Trust: a major factor in employee retention and wellbeing

Trust: a major factor in employee retention and wellbeing

Latest study highlights that the majority of employees identify trust as the main reason to stay or leave a company.

The new study, commissioned by Bupa UK, looking at trust in the workplace, and its impact on employee wellbeing reveals that over half (53%) of employees considered it to be a major factor in whether they stayed or left their employer. The research found that nearly a quarter of UK employees (24%) have left their job due to trust issues.

In addition the Study confirms that a reliable work environment increases retention, productivity and employee wellbeing, while also promoting a better business culture. It also highlights how important trust is within the workplace, and the contribution it makes to the wellbeing of employees and the overall performance of a company.

Although trust is not a tangible workplace benefit, such as salary and bonuses, it is an essential variable in promoting harmony and productivity within an organisation1.

With employees putting such importance on trust, and the positive link this has on wellbeing, employers can play to this by providing a range of support at all levels to create an open and inclusive culture.  This could range from access to resilience workshops and mental health training through to financial wellbeing information and knowing ‘your numbers’.

The research also reveals that employees value trust more than some typical company benefits such as gym membership (62%), company mobile (62%), access to a free canteen (56%) and company car (55%). These results demonstrate the degree to which employees value this reliability and the need for business leaders to take it seriously.

This ability to depend on others not only benefits the business, but also positively impacts the wellbeing of colleagues in the workplace as nearly a quarter (23%) of UK employees said they would feel more motivated if trust was placed in them.  While over a fifth (22%) said it would help them to feel happier and more productive at work (18%).

With the average price of replacing a colleague at more than £30,0002, employee turnover represents a significant cost to UK businesses. However, the current findings make good reading for business leaders with eight in 10 employees  saying they currently feel trusted by their colleagues, line manager and senior leadership team, rising to 85 per cent amongst those aged 55+.

Mark Allan, Commercial Director, for Bupa UK Insurance said: “Retaining talented people and boosting productivity is a key focus for many employers. As we spend the majority of our time in the workplace, it’s important we work in an environment with a good business culture. Our latest findings pay homage to this – suggesting that good relationships are more likely to boost engagement and influence whether someone stays at a company.

“Within many businesses across the UK, wellbeing is now a boardroom priority and it’s clear that trust is key to building a healthy business culture – increasing motivation, engagement and colleague retention as well as employees’ wellbeing. This latest research highlights the importance of creating a workplace culture that allows people to thrive and also that businesses are recognising the importance of promoting a trustful workplace.”

The latest study also provides helpful tips to employers who want to promote trust within the workplace. Bupa’s research reveals that business leaders and managers can promote it through:

  • Praising colleagues when they’ve completed a job (46%)
  • Letting them get on with tasks independently (41%)
  • Taking interest in their health and wellbeing (39%)
  • Providing staff with opportunities to progress in their career (33%)

The Bupa research again confirms that a proactive approach to employee relations and communication with time taken to create a dependable culture adds to the bottom line.

As an IIP Gold employer advo has the experience and expertise help guide employers to create the right culture for their organisation.



1Brower, H et al (2017), Want your employees to trust you? Show you trust them, accessed 9 October 2017 

2 The Oxford Economics 2014 research into staff turnover

These findings were based on a survey of 2,003 nationally representative UK adults (aged 18+), conducted by Opinium on behalf of Bupa UK between 15 and 18 September 2017.



You can see the Bupa press release here.