The trust equation – a double edged sword

Posted 01 July 2020

Arguably, the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the world of work more radically than any other single event in our working lifetime.

Defining how we use this opportunity to reset and transform our workplaces is now in the hands of all labour market participants. The decisions made by employers today will influence their status as an employer of choice for many years to come.

Employers have earned employee trust during the pandemic

Employers have done a good job managing through the crisis and putting their people first. In a survey completed by The Adecco Group, 88% of those surveyed said that their employer met or exceeded their expectations in adapting to the challenges of the pandemic. The link between communication and trust is proven with 86% saying that their employer met or exceeded their expectations for communicating about business performance during the pandemic. Trust is further deepened with six in 10 (61%) also trusting their employer to support them during any future crises.

Having gained trust, employers now have a responsibility to fulfil that trust, not just in extreme conditions, but in all conditions. That means listening to the needs of the workforce, being attuned to changing perspectives and expectations, and being constantly mindful, actively leading their people through this period of change.

Resetting normal
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Preparing for tomorrow

This rise in reputation equity leads to higher expectations. 80% of survey respondents said their employer is responsible for ensuring a better working world after Covid-19 and resetting norms. While employers scored higher than any other institution, governments are also expected to play a leading role according to most (73%), employees also see themselves (72%) and unions (63%) as accountable in shaping their future world of work.

The world of work will never return to the ‘normal’ that we were familiar with before the pandemic struck, and the prior version of ‘normal’ did not work well for a lot of labour market participants.

However, the shift towards flexibility, lifelong learning and multi-dimensional leadership will never be fully realised unless enabling structural changes are made. The current system is failing to meet the demands for specialist skilled workers in growing sectors, mental health issues at work are on the rise, and an increasing number of workers are struggling to juggle the competing demands of a busy personal life and a satisfying and successful career. It is therefore vital that employees, employers, and policymakers share the responsibility of shaping a new working model. And we have a rare window to do so.

The war for talent will be won and lost on the battlegrounds of flexibility, skills, leadership and trust. The organisations that are able to “reset normal” on these four dimensions will secure the best talent and be the most effective in managing their human capital to create sustainable success for their organisations, for the individuals they employ, and for society at large.

To get all the insights, we invite you to download our white paper today.

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