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Top-ranked workplaces prioritise trust

Organisations with high levels of trust are both higher performers and better places to work, according to Great Place to Work

Its ‘Best Workplaces’ 2019 ranking, released today, revealed that the top-ranked workplaces have cultures with high levels of trust.

Salesforce took the spot for the top ranked 'super large' organisation (with 1000+ employees), while Workday were the best large workplace, and Vibe and McCarthy Recruitment were the best medium and small places to work.

More than eight in 10 (85%) employees at the ranked organisations said they worked in environments with high levels of trust, based on a range of factors, compared to just 54% at the average UK organisation.

This translates to higher revenue growth, effective leadership, and an innovative environment propelled by a strong sense of purpose across teams, the body stated. A study by the Human Capital Management Institute (HCMI) on Great Place to Work data indicates that for every 1% increase in engagement (as measured by its Trust Index employee survey) there is a corresponding ROI increase of between £75,000 and £1,000,000.

Speaking to HR magazine, managing director at Great Place To Work UK Benedict Gautrey said that trust gives employers a competitive advantage: "The world’s best workplaces have found that a strong culture built on trust is their greatest competitive advantage, so it makes sense to know how to build and sustain it.

"Top workplaces begin building trust through their daily interactions with employees and by creating an environment where employees don't spend so much time examining the motives of their managers, second-guessing themselves or watching their backs. In essence trust can be measured by employees’ relationships with management, their colleagues and their job."

Aside from trust, Great Place to Work's annual report found that almost all top-ranked workplaces had a strong emphasis on onboarding, with 94% making employees feel ‘at home’ as soon as they entered the workplace.

It stated that strong onboarding can no longer be optional for employers, with 20% of employee turnover occurring within the first 45 days of a new job. Onboarding has evolved from a transactional HR checklist to a transformational experience involving the entire organisation, the report added.

"We see that the best workplaces [on our ranking] welcome and integrate new hires into their culture quickly and in distinctive ways. We tend to see that all new employees are welcomed equally with lots of employees participating in the welcoming process in heartfelt and meaningful ways," said Gautrey.

"A critical aspect of onboarding that we repeatedly see is a strong focus on integrating employees into the organisation’s vision, values and mission. Best Workplaces see higher retention levels with employees reporting a higher intention to stay, which is built in part from even before an employee starts their first day with the organisation."

The top workplaces were also found to prioritise employee experience, Gautrey added. "This year’s top workplaces are prioritising the employee experience by putting it at the forefront of their business strategy. They are not just stating their values, they are putting in the hard work to ensure that their workplace culture reflects those values," he said.

"They understand the power of having a strong employer brand and the impact that a positive workforce can have on their business."