Do your employees trust HR? Here's how to build belief.


HR is often seen as political or strategising, isn't viewed as directly contributing to the business's bottom line, and is sometimes viewed as 'having favourites'. Some people view HR as behind the times. Others view HR as unnecessary.

With the weight of all this, it can be difficult to get people on your side before introducing change across your organisation. It can be difficult to want to introduce change if you think you're going to be met with resistance.

But it's not as hard as you might think. And it has a lot to do with listening to what your employees want. 

Employees want to solve their own problems.

Employees want to improve their work life and further their career. In HR, that's your job too. You just need to make it easy for people to learn.

If you don't have a budget for training, don't worry. 92% of employees say their satisfaction at work depends on having the technology necessary to do their job efficiently.

Employees want to be armed with the appropriate tools and technologies to aid self-awareness and professional development. That's especially pertinent with the rise of flexible working.

As employees spend more time working remotely, communication channels can easily break down, and this creates a need for innovative technology to bridge the gap. Get to know your Head of IT, shop around for digital tools to gauge how people are doing at work, how they can be more connected to their team, and constantly question whether there's a better way to work.

Make decisions with employees in mind. Ask them what would work best for them.

Once employees start to recognise that you're looking out for them, they'll start to trust you more. 

To build trust in HR, support managers first

Managers aren't all that difficult to understand. They're sandwiched between the pressures of delivering results for their seniors, and ensuring their team are well supported. Doesn't that sound a bit like how you feel in HR?

Give managers what they need: the tools and the autonomy to lead their team.

Whether that's a engagement tool to help them keep up with how their staff are feeling, or an objective-setting tool to help people structure conversations, these tools should enable mangers to lead their team.

Get a gauge of how managers could be helped. Give them options, make them part of the decision. 

HR is more than just the department of hiring and firing

The worst case scenario for the people department is a restructuring. This erodes trust in HR and morale among employees, and casts a cloud of negativity over your department.

The temptation to batten down the hatches and ride out the storm is there, but that's never going to be the right decision.

A difficult period for the organisation - and for HR - is the best time to invest in your people's growth within the company. Demonstrating that your organisation is working towards your employees' development and wellbeing is more important than reinforcing that your employees are working for your organisation.

By becoming more engaged, employees become 22% more profitable and 21% more productive. That doesn't happen by simply paying people more money, although a fair wage is an important first step.

By Alan Wanders, Growth Manager at Motivii

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