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Building a Work Culture of Trust

By Matthew Dussome, National Client Relationship Coordinator, Wellness Works Canada

Organizational culture has become a prominent focus for many researchers, industry experts, and human resource managers, regardless of their geography or industry. It is consistently cited within many academic studies and reports as a central determinant of a company’s overall health and performance, including employee engagement, satisfaction, and productivity. As employees are the driving forces behind their companies, it is vital to understand how to ensure they remain healthy, motivated, and content. Among the presiding academic literature, a commonality that many successful organizations with thriving employee cultures share is having a strong core foundation of trust.

In this context, trust can be defined as having the belief that another individual or source is reliable and worthy of confidence. It is important to note that for authentic trust to exist, vulnerability also has to be present. It can be risky to rely on others and to share thoughts and feelings openly with them. What makes high-trust working environments so effective and (often) lucrative is their emphasis on creating a physically and psychologically safe atmosphere for their employees.

As fear of judgement and the lack of security can be major hindrances for employee well-being and performance, organizations with high-trust cultures understand that these concerns must be addressed to set their employees up for success. By prioritizing trust and safety, this can encourage employees to feel more confident in their abilities and experience less anxiety. This may help employees to sharpen their focus on their work, which could lead them to be more productive, creative, and engaged. Similarly, when trust is at the foundation of interpersonal working relationships, this can foster effective communication, fruitful collaboration, and innovative ideas. During periods of transition and change, the presence of trust is critical for finding direction and easing concerns amidst uncertainty. The impact of a high-trust culture extends beyond the staff of an organization, by positively influencing customer and client relationships and the supporting the organization’s reputation.

Best Practices for Building Trust in the Workplace:


By prioritizing trust and building it into your relationships, this will enhance the health and performance capabilities of your workforce and provide a foundation for growth. A high-trust workplace culture can change an organization, inside and out.

Further Resources:



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