Why trust in the workplace plays an integral role in creating the ‘fearless’ mentality needed at a time of major changes in the financial services industry.

With new technologies on the rise, disruption, risks and job insecurity are more common than not. A recent report by Accenture shows how financial services (FS) firms are rising to the challenge by incorporating change as a core capability and embracing true agility as a strategic priority.

Laying the foundation of a strong relationship builds the trust so integral to alleviating the fear and anxiety of what the future holds, and FS leaders are walking their talk at a time of impactful change. Doing so has created agile cultures where employees trust each other (and leadership), have each other’s backs, and are able make tough decisions that respect all stakeholders—key components needed for the industry to thrive.

Nurturing the trust and psychological safety that employees need at a time of change is the way to create a ‘fearless’ enterprise workforce—here are six statistics highlighting why:

62% of financial services employees believe intelligent technology will create opportunities for their work.

While new technologies have created concerns about loss of jobs and meaningful work, this uncertainty exists in tandem with positive views about the future.

Along with 62 percent of employees believing that intelligent technology will create opportunities for their work, 67 percent feel it will be important to learn new skills to work with the new technologies. Most employees are clearly keen to keep up and work with technology—leaders who foster this affirmative view with clear communication and actions send a message that employees are supported. This builds trust for the present and future.

Financial services firms that invest in human / machine collaboration can expect a 32% revenue boost.

With artificial intelligence and other digital technologies continuing to develop at a fast pace, it is important for organizations to recognize their positive potential. Accenture’s 2018 research with the World Economic Forum found that FS organizations that commit fully to AI and investment in human / machine collaboration can expect an estimated 32 percent revenue boost and a 9 percent rise in employment over the next five years.

Follow-up research with the G20 also showed that while 38 percent of the average worker’s time is potentially automatable, 51 percent of their time could be augmented by technology.

Burned out employees are 2.5 times more likely to leave their current employer.

Accenture research shows that 67 percent of US workers feel burned out sometimes, often, or always. In this state—likely caused by fear and anxiety about their work—they may not feel comfortable speaking up about it. Particularly if their workplace is in a state of flux.

Burn-out has a cost for both the employee and the employer—in the latter case it can be measured in an increase in absenteeism, the loss of productivity and difficulties in attracting and retaining top talent. Burned-out employees are 63 percent more likely to take a sick day off and two-and-a-half times more likely to leave their current employer.

People at high-trust companies experience 74% less stress.

In a 2017 scaled US study, researchers found that compared with people at low-trust companies, people at high-trust companies reported:

  • 74% less stress
  • 50% higher productivity
  • 106% more energy at work
  • 13% fewer sick days
  • 76% more engagement
  • 29% more satisfaction in their lives
  • 40% less burnout

These statistics shouldn’t be surprising. But if there is any question as to why trust is a motivating factor for happiness within an organization, the above list provides insight that shouldn’t be dismissed.

Leaders who displayed 60th percentile ratings for consistency, good judgment, and positive relationships earned an 80th percentile trust score.

A recent Harvard Business Review study found that three key factors drive trust in leadership: consistency, good judgment and positive relationships. Out of 87,000 360-degree leadership assessments, those who achieved ratings at or above the 60th percentile for the three factors—marginally better than average—achieved an overall 80th percentile trust score. When none of these qualities were displayed, a 20th percentile trust score was given.

Slightly ahead in influence within the study was the factor of positive relationships. If a relationship has not been formed, or if the relationship is broken, it is virtually impossible for trust to germinate and grow. This ultimately proves that an emotionally connected leader with a clear vision is more likely to be trusted and receive support.

The best workplaces beat annualized returns of the S&P 500 by a factor of three.

Trust within an enterprise translates directly into better financial performance. The 100 Best Companies to Work For (produced by the Great Place to Work Institute and Fortune) uses trust in two thirds of its criteria. The organizations’ research shows that “trust between managers and employees is the primary defining characteristic of the very best workplaces.” The best workplaces beat “the average annualized returns of the S&P 500 by a factor of three.”

These statistics provide a brief snapshot of the importance of trust in the workplace. Click here to download the full report on how financial services firms are mastering change.

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