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Large trust gap between UK workers and their employers

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There is a large trust gap between workers and employers in the United Kingdom, where most workers neither trust the organizations they work for nor feel that they value their contribution.

So concludes a survey from Grant Thornton and the Social Market Foundation (SMF) that finds what many workers experience at work falls short of what is important to them.

trust gap shorn ropeA survey suggests there is a large trust gap between UK workers and their employers.
Image: pixabay-1110536

The poll – conducted by Populus – reveals that while 89 percent of workers say trusting the company they work for is important for job satisfaction, only 65 percent actually do so.

In addition, only 66 percent say they feel valued by their employer, despite 89 percent saying this is also an important factor in their job satisfaction.

There is a similar trust gap when workers are asked about being listened to – while 86 percent say this is important, only 61 percent agree this was the case.



Moreover, only 36 percent of UK workers say the organizations they work for give them opportunities to get involved in the running of the enterprise.

The poll also found a difference between public and private sector employees. Public sector workers were less likely to say they were involved in the running of their organizations (only 27 percent agreed they were offered opportunities to do so) than private sector workers (39 percent).

Government seeks views on corporate governance options

The results of the trust gap survey emerge in the same week as the government kicks of a debate on corporate governance with a new green paper that – among other things – seeks views on the following proposed options for strengthening employee engagement:

– create stakeholder advisory panels
– designate non-executive directors to represent the voice of employees at board level
– appoint individual stakeholder representatives to company boards
– make companies report more information about stakeholder engagement



Sacha Romanovitch, chief executive of Grant Thornton UK, welcomes the fact that the government is not pushing for prescriptive solutions on worker representation, and says:

“We need to encourage innovative approaches and a change in corporate culture rather than ‘tick box’ compliance.”