Article: Secret to happy and loyal employees: Trust

Employee Engagement

Secret to happy and loyal employees: Trust

Trust is a solid foundation, for both employees and employers, to build a meaningful, educative and mutually beneficial relationship.
Secret to happy and loyal employees: Trust

The secret to having happy and loyal employees is no secret at all. A lot has been said and written about what makes your employees happy and loyal, but according to a recent American study, all it takes is trust. The study illustrates the many factors of trust in workplace, its relation with other aspects of a job. 

What was the study?

PayScale wanted to study the trust-level in American workers by their manager, and how different level of trust impacts different aspects of their job. From June to September this year, they surveyed 54,827 respondents and asked them to complete the sentence, “My manager trusts me to ....”

  • Act and make decisions on my own
  • Act, but advise at once
  • Make recommendations, then take approved action
  • Ask what to do
  • Do nothing without being told what to do


This was followed by other questions regarding salary, relationship with manager, job satisfaction and the likelihood of looking for a new job.  The results were published on the website under a report titled, ‘A PayScale Report: You’re Not the Boss Of Me – Trust in the Workplace.’

What did the study find out

The following are the findings of the study:

  • 72% of the workers who are able to act and make decisions (or feel trusted) are satisfied with their jobs; as opposed to 26% of those who aren’t able to do anything without being told before.
  • 54% of the respondents who were trusted by their employers were had plans to look for a new job, whereas the same figure for was 76% for those whose bosses displayed no confidence in them.
  • 85% of those who has annual incomes exceeding $160,000 said their managers fully trusted them, but 63% of those who made less than $19,000 could claim the same. 
  • 76% of the respondents who had a working experience of more than 10 years said their managers trust them, as opposed to 59% of those who had less than two years of work experience. 
  • 73% of white workers said to have elicited their manager’s trust – the highest, whereas Asians had the lowest trust levels by their bosses, at 59%.


Katie Bardaro, Lead Economics and VP of Data Analytics at PayScale said, “In all environments — professional and personal — trust is a required element for the creation of productive relationships. This report shows manager trust is a crucial ingredient when it comes to ensuring engaged and devoted employees.” The authors of the study said that the findings are significant for both the employers and employees, “For workers, build that trust with your manager; it'll lead to happiness at work and potentially a higher salary. Employers, if you want to keep your employees, trust them. They'll be more likely to be happy in their job and less likely to leave for another one.”

Why is it important?

The findings of the study reiterate the importance of having trust in your employees. It proves that workers who are trusted more are likely to work better, and be more loyal. Furthermore, it also shows that trust is relative to income level, working experience, and even race. The T word is integral to build employee relationship and foster loyalty, that much has always been clear to industry experts and people at the helm, but the challenge is almost always to seamlessly build a mutual level of trust and understanding. It requires masterful understanding and extensive balance in establishing trust, cultivating an empowered workforce and most of all, allowing your employees to take charge. Although this study was conducted with American respondents, the findings can be applied universally. Hence, employers need to take note of the seriousness of establishing trust among their employees, and need to realise that they can grow, only if they allow their employees to grow. 

The Bottom-Line

Trust is a solid foundation, for both employees and employers, to build a meaningful, educative and mutually beneficial relationship. In fact this is simply an extension of how relationships – personal or professional – play out in life. If you feel the current trust levels in the organisation or team are actually keeping you from performing to the best of your potential, as a leader, you must work consciously towards making it better. As an employee or team member, you need to flag these concerns to your supervisor, and do your bit to ensure high levels of trust in the team.

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Topics: Employee Engagement, Watercooler

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