Why Employees in the UK Are Unable to Trust their Bosses

An HR team that wants to make an impact needs to establish strong relationships with everyone in the business. It can be easy for them not to be surrounded by all of their administrative tasks, but the psychology and trust in HR relationship building are key points and should sit at centre stage.

Trust is needed to ensure that people make the most out of their time working together, share what they know without hesitation, and communicate openly with each other. But how do you do that?

One way is with the use of HRIS software and this tool is becoming increasingly common among businesses of all sizes for this purpose, as it helps manage all aspects of HR processes.

It’s a great way to help make employees feel secure about their future job prospects, as well as becoming the ultimate go-to place to find all personal employee information on record.

Trust is an integral aspect of organisational management. Companies can still make a profit without doing so by focusing on the needs and wants of their employees, customers and products to create less stressful situations with more productivity outcomes as well.

Trust is needed to ensure that people make the most out of their time working together, share what they know without hesitation, and communicate openly with each other.

Why Employees in the UK cannot Trust their Bosses

It’s hard to build meaningful relationships with employees if they don’t trust HR. To gain the loyalty of your staff, you need them on board from day one.

A survey was conducted to understand employees’ sentiment about their experience with the company and its human resources department.  Here’s a list of reasons that could affect the trust between employees and their HR departments.

1) Post Impact of Covid-19 on trust in HR

For many, COVID-19 was a game-changer for how they felt about their HR team. After the virus struck, it threw companies into chaos across Europe for weeks on end with no end in sight.

Cezanne asked 1,000 UK and Ireland workers if they trusted their employer more or less now compared to before COVID-19 to find out how much this event affected employee confidence.

54% of people selected that their level of trust was the same after this pandemic and another 32% said they are now more confident with
HR and 13.8% reported less trust on their end.

2) Conflict Management

The Trust level of Employees gets affected by the HR department because of not helping them in conflict resolution with other colleagues.

Despite all the hard work HR does in the background on processes like performance and absence management, conflict management is probably one of those areas where they can add real value.

If an employee or line manager has come to a point with their coworkers where they need help from someone outside of company walls – trust must exist between everyone involved so people know who will be there for them when things get tricky.

From the report, almost half  (53.1%) responded Yes while only 17.9 % answered No and 29% gave an unsure response about how many employees would trust their HR department to settle workplace dispute issues.

3) Violation of Privacy Rights

Many employees may also lack trust in the HR department because they feel that their privacy rights are violated by the HR department. Employees do not want to be followed or spied on, and sometimes they may believe that the company is monitoring conversations that should remain private between employees.

Furthermore, some employees feel ‌their phone numbers and internet activity are monitored by the HR department, and this may cause them to mistrust the HR department.

Reassuringly, 69% of people do trust their HR team to respect and keep confidential any information about them. But for 31% who said no or were unsure, this is a big concern as it could cause discrimination lawsuits down the road.

4) Not Being Impartial

One reason may be that employees feel that the HR department is not impartial when it comes to disciplinary action. Employees may feel that the HR department is more likely to side with management than with employees in disciplinary proceedings.

Additionally, some employees may feel that the HR department is not knowledgeable enough to handle disciplinary proceedings.

When asked who respondents believe HR favours more between junior staff and seniors, 45% of people selected “seniors” while 43% said they didn’t know and 12% picked “juniors.”

5) Not Transparent with Employees

Another reason why employees may have trust issues with HR is because they may feel that HR is not transparent enough.

Employees may feel that HR is not forthcoming with information and that they are not kept up to date on what is happening in the company.

This can lead to a  lack of trust, as employees may feel that HR is not being honest with them.

  1. Accessibility to HR

Poor communication and lack of accessibility are one of the main reasons why trust levels can be damaged within an organisation. Managers and HR professionals need to make sure they communicate effectively across all departments and keep employees up-to-date with important news and announcements.

To understand how accessible employees feel their HR teams are, Cezanne HR’s survey asked: ‘If you wanted to get help from human resources? How easy does this sound? What do you think is the best option for doing so?’ There were a lot of responses with more than 50% of people considering it “VERY EASY” and others saying ‘POSSIBLE BUT DIFFICULT’.

  1. Failure to adapt

HR departments need to be agile and flexible to adapt to changes coming from the business or outside of it. When these changes are not well received by employees, HR professionals need to make sure they address their concerns quickly and efficiently.

HR teams need to ‌look ahead and expect what changes will come from the business before they happen, as well as have a plan in place to deal with these changes if necessary. This helps employees feel like their concerns are being heard and that there is a solution on the horizon.


HR needs to rebuild trust with their employees by following all proper procedures, keeping any information confidential, being supportive of the personal situations of their employees, taking complaints seriously and acting upon them quickly, and responding to emails promptly.


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