How do you attract, support and retain the best talent in the industry? That question is top of mind for every HR Department in an economy that appears to place a great deal of opportunity in the hands of the employee. Lifelong careers with one organization are becoming a thing of the past and holding on to top performers is becoming a challenge for organizations across all industries. For some employers, offering top benefits and salary levels attract the best and the brightest talent in the field, but they may still be experiencing much higher turnover than desirable.

If employee’s total rewards are successful at attracting top talent, then why are top performing employers still experiencing such high turnover rates? The answer may be as simple as whether or not there is a culture of trust within the organization. Employees who trust their leadership are more likely to bring innovative ideas to the table and work longer and harder toward the organization’s success. Leaders who trust their employees experience higher levels of innovation and creativity as employees feel empowered to make decisions and take risks for the betterment of the company.

When employees do not feel trusted or do not feel confident in their leaders, that environment of trust can quickly turn to a culture of fear. Employees may become fearful of suggesting ideas, recommending solutions or making decisions. This fear can place a strain on the organization’s ability to remain innovative, ultimately leading to a slow erosion of the company’s core values and strategic goals.

Cultivating an environment that promotes trust can begin within the HR department. Empowering employees to hold themselves accountable demonstrates the organization’s trust in its workforce and encourages individuals to demonstrate their worthiness of that trust. Rather than allowing office politics to seep into HR decisions and practices, empowered HR leaders lead by example with open communication and an understanding of individuals’ unique needs. This means that HR specialists may need to step outside of the traditional compliance-focused box to give employees a bit of leeway and trust that they will utilize common sense. While this compassion may not always lead to the employee doing what is expected, the greater employee population will appreciate and respect the trust that has been provided to them and they will be more productive, active and engaged employees as a result.

How do you plan to implement trust-based practices into your organization?