The average adult worker will spend around 90,000 hours throughout their lifetime engaged in some aspect of professional employment. Some of these hours may be shared between in-office projects, remote work, overtime or hybrid schedules, but regardless of the model, that’s a large part of a person’s life.

Considering that the modern worker spends so much of their time in the workplace, it should come as no surprise that researchers are continuing to try and understand how best to support employees by studying the psychology of high performing teams as well as the positive work environments that they’re so often a part of. 

Across several studies and ongoing research projects, it’s clear that employees who share a trusting relationship with their employers outperform those who do not. In fact, 96% of highly engaged employees are found to be part of a trusting workplace culture, with these same workplaces often reporting a 50% increase in comparative employee productivity. For employers looking to nurture a positive professional environment, prioritizing trust is an ideal place to start. So, here’s how to create a culture of trust in the workplace. 

culture of trust in the workplace
Image by Drazen Zigic on Freepik

Offer flexible work arrangements  

One of the most effective and straightforward ways to both improve employee wellbeing and begin to create a culture of trust between team leaders and staff is to offer full-time workers a higher degree of flexibility within their roles. Employees engaged in hybrid work schedules regularly report a number of significant wellbeing benefits that can ultimately help create a more engaged and positive workforce. 

One recent study found that over 44% of US workers engaged in hybrid work models found their stress levels to be noticeably decreased, 55% found it easier to effectively balance personal and professional priorities and almost 40% found these factors to contribute towards improved workplace productivity.

By offering hard-working team members the freedom to balance their professional workloads equally alongside their personal lives, employers are able to facilitate a high level of trust that’s often mutually beneficial to both parties. This idea is illustrated by data finding 81% of staff would be more loyal to employers if offered flexible work, with hybrid roles attracting 7X more applicants than in-person jobs. 

Invest in workplace security  

As more aspects of our professional lives continue to become dependent on digital technologies, businesses are becoming more susceptible to serious physical and cybersecurity breaches. Data shows that around 64% of global companies have experienced at least one form of notable cyber-attack, with these breaches also having the potential to negatively impact workplace safety and physical security. 

Investing in intelligent security systems that make use of physical and cybersecurity convergence to better protect workers and introduce more convenient methods of managing property access can help employers to clearly illustrate a commitment to employee safety and help to nurture a culture of trust. 

By installing and operating advanced on-site security devices such as touchless access control and business camera systems, employees will have more control over their own security within flexible schedules, and security teams can better manage potential threats by developing a holistic system in which cameras, alarms and other physical devices can be viewed together from a unified platform.   

Recognise and reward employees 

Trust in the workplace is very much built on mutual respect, this is to say that when employees feel that their work is both valued and appreciated, this will often be reflected in improved productivity and engagement metrics. Research supports this claim, with 50% of modern workers believing recognition from management improves workplace relationships and 91% of HR professionals finding employee recognition programs to be important when it comes to retaining highly skilled and talented candidates. 

By developing dedicated employee recognition and reward programs designed to single out and address the success of high-performing team members, these essential workers will feel more valued within their roles, with this show of support and trust helping to foster a more positive workplace culture.  

With the rise of smart technology and automated HR software tools, implementing effective staff recognition and reward programs has perhaps never been easier. With integrated systems now capable of monitoring active projects and alerting HR staff as soon as goals have been achieved, even fully remote team members can be presented with personalized praise for outstanding work. 

Provide clear career development 

For business leaders that wish to retain highly skilled workers and foster a feeling of professional respect and trust amongst their workforce, making efforts to provide clear and attainable career progression targets should rank as a top priority. In fact, 76% of millennial workers believe that dedicated professional development programs are essential for building a strong company culture.  

By providing staff members with personalized targets to help them build upon existing skill sets and work towards achievable goals, employees will not only feel more engaged with their work but will also be assured that their efforts are valued and that their immediate managers trust in their abilities. 

Employers that show their workers they trust them to not only perform basic duties but also branch out into more skilled and complicated aspects of their profession will demonstrate an additional level of respect that can help to retain high-performing workers and upskill staff to improve productivity.  


Attitudes towards work are continuing to change in the modern world, with the rise of remote and hybrid work models leading to staff prioritizing freedom within their roles, and the development of smart technologies helping HR, IT and security teams better monitor and protect valued workers. 

For business owners and HR professionals looking to attract high-performing team members and loyal employees, making efforts to nurture a culture of trust may prove to be a vital investment. By offering staff more flexibility in their roles, showing support through advanced workplace security, recognising employee achievements and providing clear avenues of career progression, leaders can develop a tangible culture of trust in the workplace to attract and retain high quality team members.