What is Employment Trust?

09/09/2023 By: John Huff

We think that declining employment trust is the underlying reason for the rise of voluntary turnover seen in many industries.

What's "employment trust"? We are referring to an employee's belief their employer will provide a good "deal" that encapsulates all employee expectations. It goes beyond the concept of Employee Value Proposition (EVP) which tends to focus on more tangible concepts like pay, benefits, and other perks.

In the past, the employee "deal" was less complex and focused on items described by EVP, and the terms were driven by the employer.

Today, the terms of the "deal" are driven more by the employee who, on top of pay and benefits, needs more abstract things like:

These expectations are easy to understand but are often ambiguous or impossible to deliver on a reasonable timeline. For example:

We believe employment trust has eroded because many employers haven't worked on these new expectations but instead have focused on short-term fixes that have made things worse.

Does the below scenario sound familiar?

A company can't hire enough people due to high turnover. They offer a sign-on bonus of $10,000 to attract new applicants out of desperation. They require a long-term employee to train the new employees. Nothing is offered to the long-term employee, but they know about the bonus because it's advertised online. The long-term employee now feels betrayed and loses trust that the company will take care of loyal employees. Their feeling is justified further when the new employee quits within six months and moves on to some other new "deal." 

In his comic strip Pogo, Walt Kelly once famously wrote, "We have met the enemy and he is us." Heard.

We've included an infographic to outlines a path to building employment trust at a basic level. It looks easy, but it's not. We'd love the chance to partner with you to help discover what your employees expect and how you can get closer to meeting their needs.

Infographic describing a quick method to help employers identify ways to rebuild employment trust.

Extra:  Pros and Cons of using the 5 whys

It's common for people to quickly search online for various tools to make sense of a problem without really understanding the tool. Part of the infographic we display refers to using the 5 Whys method, a common problem-solving tool, but we feel it's important to share some pros and cons of this method: