A recent survey by Price Waterhouse Coppers (PWC) found that more than half of the 1400+ CEOs interviewed believe that a lack of trust is a threat to business growth. Here’s the thing, trust is foundational for engagement and a successful business, as well as organization and individual well-being. Engagement is another concern for organizations and a significant focus of most senior leaders. And rightfully so since findings indicate that only 30% of employees are engaged at work.

Both trust and engagement are needed for businesses to prosper and employees to flourish. Employees reporting high-trust within their companies are more productive, have more energy, collaborate better with their co-workers, and report higher well-being. Plus there is higher retention and talent attraction.

Recent research found that employees at high-trust organizations not only have higher engagement compared to those at low-trust ones, but also findings indicate that they have,

  • 75% less stress
  • 100% more energy at work
  • 50% higher productivity
  • 13% less absenteeism
  • 29% more life satisfaction
  • 40% less burnout

The bottom line is that trust enhances engagement and well-being. Many companies attempt to try fun activities and team building exercises, which provide short-term relief, but usually not sustainable engagement. Neither nudges the trust needle.

Instead, engagement and trust are created through meaningful work where employees feel respected and valued, that their contributions matter, and believe that they are contributing to something that is meaningful to the organization and beyond. This process begins with leadership development. (Is Trust the New Imperative? 12 Nuggets to Consider)

Safety and wellness initiatives can be instrumental in cultivating trust and engagement when implemented with the right intentions and when ripples are nurtured to spread to all aspects of the business. In fact, what better way to engage employees and cultivate trust than through safety and wellness?

The ingredients for fostering trust and engagement include,

  • Establishing a people-centric approach
  • Providing autonomy, meaning, purpose, and mastery.
  • Recognizing successes and valuing all contributions
  • Fostering camaraderie
  • Building connections and relationships
  • Demonstrating empathy, compassion, and care
  • Constructing opportunities for learning and growth
  • Inviting individual interests and talents
  • Involving employees in the processes and decisions made
  • Maintaining transparency and frequent communications

With the right intention and processes, all of the ingredients can be enhanced, which includes developing essential leadership qualities (12 Nuggets), using safety and wellness as the lever.