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Building productivity: Trust

High-trust-child-page Acas has developed seven levers which provide a practical framework for workplaces to unlock their potential to be more productive. This page looks at trust.

Why is trust so important in the workplace?

Trust is the glue that holds workplaces together, creating the right environment for positive and productive relationships. A lack of trust is often expressed as a sense of being 'kept in the dark' or being anxious or uncertain of someone's motives or interests. Organisations without trusting relationships are easy to spot because:

  • managers lack the confidence to deal with people issues
  • managers often feel they don't have access to clear messages or don't believe in the messages given to them by organisation leaders
  • there are no effective channels for leaders to communicate their vision and tell their story or for employees to ask questions and get answers about their concerns.

But organisations with relationships at work built on trust can:

  • plan for the future knowing they have the confidence of colleagues
  • engage openly and honestly with each other
  • solve problems more quickly than competitors and manage change better
  • have confidence that staff feel able to approach managers and leaders
  • make difficult decisions - for example, redundancies may be easier to accept if staff know the rationale behind change.

What does an organisation which fosters trusting relationships look like?

  • Employers are as open and honest as they can be and share as much information as possible in a timely fashion with employees.
  • Leaders know how to communicate their vision and 'walk the floor'.
  • Genuine joint problem solving involves staff opinions and ideas.

Trust: Further Acas guidance and resources

Acas Productivity tool

Take the Acas self-diagnosis Productivity Tool test to understand your organisation's strengths and weaknesses, and to help you identify simple practical steps you can take to get the best out of your staff. The tool will produce a report with links to relevant Acas help and tools.

Find out more about the seven levers of workplace productivity

Well designed work | Skilled managersManaging conflict effectivelyClarity about rights and responsibilitiesFairnessStrong employee voice | High trust


High Trust: Acas training and support for your business

Acas advisers have a wealth of experience from working with organisations who have developed management practices to increase trust and engagement in the workplace. Acas offer a range of practical Training Courses, Workshops and Projects that can help. We know the approaches that can make a real difference and we can train line managers in best practice in communications, consultation and improving working relationships.

Contact us through our Customer contact form to let us know how we can help.

Acas also schedule training events around Great Britain which help employers learn more about trust. View our full listing of Training events or click on event details below.