South Africans don’t trust their workplaces

Online since 1.03.2017 • Filed under Human Resources • From Issue 5 - March 2017 - August 2017 page(s) 42
South Africans don’t trust their workplaces

South Africa’s first National Corporate Trust Index reveals that employees experience a low level of trust in their working environments. The Index shows a national trust score of 57 out of 100, with a score below 60 viewed as very low by global research standards.

Breaking down the National Trust Index score reveals that 52% of respondents gave their organisation a low trust rating overall, with 15% saying that there was either very low or no trust in their place of work.

The National Corporate Trust Index provides a national benchmark of the perception of trust in corporate South Africa. It is a composite score evaluated from a detailed questionnaire with over 1 000 employees responding from private and public South African companies. The research was conducted by Consulta Research on behalf of FranklinCovey South Africa using a robust scientific and globally accepted analysis methodology.

‘An absence of trust in the workplace impacts negatively on innovation, engagement, team cooperation and agility,’ says Marlinie Ramsamy, CEO of FranklinCovey South Africa. ‘Organisations that operate at a low level of trust do not enjoy business confidence, sustainability or financial success. Building trust is a long-term strategy to achieve sustainability – you can achieve quick results in a culture of fear and mistrust, but these results won’t be sustainable and you rarely retain your most talented human resources,’ she notes.

‘The ability to establish, extend and restore trust with all stakeholders, whether they’re customers, business partners, investors or co-workers, is the key leadership competency of the new global economy,’ adds Ramsamy. ‘Leaders of sustainable and profitable organisations are looking beyond the common view of trust as a soft, social virtue, and are learning to see it as a critical, highly relevant performance multiplier.’

In a more positive light, the research revealed that there are some organisations that enjoy high trust as 24% of respondents said that they work in environments where trust is a visible asset, with a further 9% saying that they enjoy world-class trust in their place of work. 15% of respondents said that trust is not an issue in their working environment.

Trust at different management levels

The Index reveals that the lowest level of trust is among South African junior and middle managers, with a score of 50, and with their staff displaying a trust level of 50. The highest score of the Index is found among senior and top management at 65.

‘We have found that this difference in perception is the result of top management not connecting their people strategy with what is applied in their work environments, and middle management acting as gate keepers to critical information,’ explains Ramsamy.

The Deloitte’s Human Capital Trends Survey 2016 shows that 82% of the respondents realise culture as a potential competitive advantage, which is a business issue and not an HR only issue.

A winning culture means increased levels of trust that drives sustainable organisations

Issue 5 - March 2017 - August 2017

Issue 5 - March 2017 - August 2017

This article was featured on page 42 of SABI Magazine Issue 5 - March 2017 - August 2017 .

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