Queen's University IRC

Building Trust and Increasing Employee Engagement in the Workplace

How HR Business Partners and Managers Can Work Together for Success
Sandi Cardillo
Queen’s IRC Facilitator

September 4, 2018

Building Trust and Increasing Employee Engagement in the Workplace Ben was concerned. Emma, a manager new to his group, had just received her employee engagement scores. They were not good. Emma had been a rock star in her previous individual contributor role. She was seen as talent for the future in the organization. As her HR Business Partner, Ben had watched her struggle as a first-time manager. Now, it appeared that her employee team was willing to put those struggles on paper in the form of not so good engagement scores. This had always been a good team. But their responses were a strong signal to Ben that something was not right.

“Emma, let’s talk about what these employee engagement scores might mean,” Ben said.

“I know, Ben,” she replied. “I am trying so hard to get this managing thing right. I am not happy with the responses and how the group sees me right now. This is such a good team. The one that really bothers me is the feedback from the ‘do you trust your manager?’ question. I’ve always thought of myself as a pretty trust worthy person, so this one really bothers me. I can’t seem to find a way to earn my team’s confidence and trust.”

“Emma,” he replied. “I’ve been doing a lot of studying on how managers build trust on their teams since we started this whole employee engagement initiative. We are trying to understand how what we do in HR helps build trust in the organization. Would you consider studying with me? I really want to help you. We can learn together.”

“Ben, that would be great,” Emma replied. “Let’s do it!”

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