What is the significance of trust between a manager and an employee?

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Making money by using resources to generate or meet demand for a particular good or service is one of the main motivations for people to start businesses. As there are a number of conditions that must be met for something to happen, it might sound simpler said than done. Employees are among the most crucial resources to have. These days, their skills are varied, but their demands are also more psychological. Regarding this, there is a recurring concern of how crucial trust is between managers and employees. Research shows that it aids to promote product, understanding and a working environment that is effective for both employees and the organization. This paper explores the importance of trust between managers and employees so as to further contribute to the already existing knowledge at hand in the subject matter.

Keywords: Trust, manager, employees, organization.

How Importance is Trust between a Manager and Employee?


Every other organization will largely depend on their employees in order to meet their objectives and make profits. In this case, it can be argued that employees are very important resources to the well-being of a company and perhaps the reason as to why majority go an extra mile just to have the right kind. Employees differ in terms of skills and academic knowledge to a given job position. But as a group, there are specific attributes that apply to each and every single one of them. According to Zak (2017), organizations today are ever anxious over employee performance because it reflects on the general performance of the company. This is the main reason as to why strategies are constantly being implemented more so in establishing ways to encourage employee performance and engagement. As argued by Mladkova, Zouharova & Novy (2015), it is no longer about monetary issues because even so, unsatisfactory behavior has been witnessed with workers thus a need for non-monetary strategies to apply.

In light of the above, trust then becomes one of the most competitive elements of an organization. “55% of CEOs think that lack of trust impacts on company growth” (Zak, 2017). It is evident through various studies that the relationship between a manager and employees is vital for competitive advantages but it all starts with trust. This paper will discuss the importance of the latter by considering productivity, emotional intelligence, employee turnover and manager-employee relations when trust does exist between the two. By doing so, it will help to answer the research question on the importance of trust between a manager and employee.


When there is trust between a manager and an employee, there is always more room for improved productivity more so on the latter. In every organizational setting, everyone has a specific goal to satisfy but such can only be attained when people come together and collaborate on their work. When trust is lacking, the collaboration will greatly be impacted on. There is the need to ensure that employees trust that their managers will provide them with what they need while the vice verse is also true thus an environment for collaborative work. The more this occurs, the higher productivity levels can be observed.

Additionally, Mladkova, Zouharova & Novy (2015) talks about how trust improved on the self-confidence of employees, To be in a position whereby as a manager one openly has faith that the staff members will perform with little supervision is empowering to the latter. This is due to the fact that they will interpret this as being recognized as having the capabilities to deliver as required. It is no wonder that employees who work with the least supervision and there is a trust relationship between them and management show a high level of productivity, especially in meeting deadlines.

There is also the aspect of financial performance where Covey & Conant (2016) emphasize the need of trust in order for outstanding financial excellence to occur. There are diverse ways for any company to measure its productivity levels with finances being an important element. When there is trust between managers and employees, the speed at which work gets done is often high while the associated costs are low (Covey & Conant, 2016) and this is what is observed with most trustworthy companies. As such, when there is trust, it can only encourage other positive outcomes in any setting or relationship.

Furthermore, it should be understood that productivity is closely linked to how employees relate to their environment. According to Zak (2017), trust allows for a meaningful difference in the workplace to be observed whereby both employees and management are happy. Happiness is a form of fulfillment that directly impacts on the output that a staff member is willing to give on a daily basis. The happier they are about life and their work environment, the more productive they will be which is beneficial to everyone involved. Therefore, one importance of trust between a manager and the employee is that it results in greater productivity from both parties.

Emotional Intelligence

For great leadership skills to be exercised there are several factors that have to interrelate at all time. Recently studies have shown the emotional intelligence to be one such factor. It is simply defined as the ability to acknowledge, comprehend and value how emotions can be a great source of empowerment and trust (Kannaiah & Shanthi, 2015). It is a skill that defines good leadership based on how those in managerial positions interact with their subordinates. Leaders with this skills ted to show more trust towards their employees and in return, there is the creation of an ideal working environment for all.

Knight et al (2015) explain that with emotional intelligence, trust is a common factor that has to be in existence. This is because the leader is aware of the emotional impact this has on their employees and also on them. With such understanding, it becomes easier to comprehend how this leads to dealing with stressful situations. Problems are bound to arise within an organization and in as much as there are strategies on how to address them, emotions can also play a key role. Emotional intelligence fosters trust which in return allows for openness between those involved and in this situation, formulating solutions to deal with stress.

In a way, it is more like saying that when trust is generated through emotional intelligence on the part of the manager, the employee will be influenced to respond in a similar manner leading to solutions where needed. A closer look at this also reveals an atmosphere of adaptability and responsibility for both the manager and employees (Kannaiah & Shanthi, 2015). In as much as this is a relatively new perspective in determining leadership roles, studies do show that emotional intelligence leads to trust and the opposite is also true but the end result is that those involved find it easier to compromise and adapt to diverse situations.

Having mentioned above that problems are part of any company, with trust, both managers and employees can adapt to the situation and work together to find effective solutions to all. Furthermore, there is the feeling of being responsible which fosters employees’ performance. Emotional intelligence increases the trust, awareness and tolerance levels that both managers and employees have for one another (Knight et al, 2015). This can only mean that they become respectful towards each other with the end result being a conducive work environment.

Employee Turnover

This is the resigning or change of jobs for employees between organizations or work industries. There are numerous reasons as to why this occurs but job satisfaction is one of the most important. As mentioned above, money plays a significant role when it comes to retaining employees within an organization. However, the workforce today is looking for more than financial benefits. According to Chen at al (2015), when there is trust between managers and employees, there is a professional commitment which leads to low employee turnover. Dedication in work processes is important because it is the only surety that tasks will be completed and goals met. For this to occur, workers need to trust their managers while the vice verse is also maintained. With trust, there is a mutual commitment to do good at all time because there is more than financial fulfillment involved in the process.

In addition to the above, there is also the benefit of creating favorable workplace attitudes. The environments upon which employees work not only have to do with the physical aspects but the psychological as well. This is why Chan et al (2015) state that “trust can enhance job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and productivity,” which all results to very few employees resigning or seeking employment in other firms. Consequently, the workplace atmosphere has to be trusting thus resulting to managers and employees collaborating to realize both individual career goals and organizational ones.

Okello & Gilson (2015) also add that trust between managers and employees encourage a positive social interaction for the later feel more at home. The goal here s to make the employees as socially comfortable as possible given that the workplace is not only meant for work but other forms of interactions as well. A trustworthy environment equals high social interactions that further leads to improved quality of work. Therefore, just as Zak (2017) emphasize on using trust to create a difference, Okello & Gilson (2015), find that such work environments tend to retain its employees over long periods of time.

Any organization that has high employee turnover is often considered as a bad employer and this is what most firms do not want thus their desire to increase retention levels. Good salaries, wages, and bonuses alone will not work because factors such as trust have been known to be more effective than finances. This is all because employees want to work at a place where they can commit, effectively play their roles and are constantly motivated to check in and grow their careers.

Managerial-Employee relationship

Another importance of trust between managers and employees is that it encourages the formation and maintenance of a relationship between the two. As a leader, you should be in a position to relate to your employees and also vice verse. The need for this is for a smooth understanding of roles and objectives. Without trust, employees only see their managers as a hindrance to their career growth while those in leadership only see their staff as a tool to a means. The danger of this is the lack of mutual respect and confidence in each other that eventually affects productivity. Engelbrecht, Heine & Mahembe (2014) explain that trust between a manager and an employee develops mutual understanding and respect to foster an engaging working environment. As such, when trust is lacking, the rest also crumble.

There is also the additional benefit of encouraging open communication, more so for feedback and reducing the incidences of misunderstanding. Sometimes conflicts between the two levels of employment occur because of poor instructions and communication. But in a good relationship, there are open lines of communication with both parties trusting that any issue will be brought to attention and resolved in good time. All this becomes more important in light to decision-making and task delegation. Thus, the latter is only applicable in situations where both parties are confident in the other.

Trust between managers and employees also encourage a positive relationship between the two to impact on organizational supportive structures (Kumar, Adhish & Chauhan, 2015). A firm will have a hierarchy to show who is leading who but it is also true that such structures are dependent regardless of the levels. Trust supports this by empowering everyone at different levels to come and work together. The greater this engagement is, the stronger the organizational structure becomes thus a competitive advantage within its market. A positive manager-employee relationship simply means there is openness, respect, lack of fear and supportive engagement with a process that is fulfilling to the firm and its staff members.


For companies to reduce their anxiety over employee performance and other related factors, it is important that they comprehend and acknowledge the importance of trust. As highlighted, it is more of an emotional state of mind that plays various roles within the organization. Productivity is important because, without it, most firms will go out of business. For this to be achieved, not only is there an emphasis on having the right kind of resources but trust between a manager and employees. This generates an environment for collaboration, self-awareness, and excellence which all lead towards increased production.

It has also been shown that trust encourages emotional intelligence, a somehow new leadership measure that helps in value creation. The importance of this is not only for good leadership skills but for employees to have confidence in their abilities to be responsible when called upon. Furthermore, low employee turnover is a benefit that is achieved when managers and employees have trust in each other. Staff members constantly leaving an organization is never a good sight thus the need for creative ways in retaining them for as long as possible. Finances alone will not work just as established above but a trustworthy environment encourages other good factors thus the low turnover. Lastly, there is the relationship between the two parties. Trust is the only way to have this and its benefits range from mutual respect, support and constant engagement.

In conclusion, the importance of trust between a manager and employees is because it can only lead to growth. This is both for the firm and individual careers. Every person is looking to engage in processes that will eventually lead to progress in their lives and since most people now spend more time working to earn a living, being able to have confidence in another is important. It goes beyond the need to believe that someone has the capacity to implement resources in a particular way to achieve desired results. Trust between those in a managerial position and their worker signifies a relationship that is dependent to encourage the survival of the two as well as the organization they work for. Therefore, it is a process that has to be culturally implemented in the helms of every company that is looking to competitive grow itself and its respective industry.


Chen,S. et al (2015). “Organizational justice, trust, and identification and their effects on organizational commitment in hospital nursing staff.” BMC Health Service Research, 15(363). Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-015-1016-8

Covey, S. & Conant, D. (2016). “The Connection between Employee Trust and Financial Performance.” Harvard Business Review, July issue. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2016/07/the-connection-between-employee-trust-and-financial-performance

Engelbrecht, A., Heine, G., Mahembe, B. (2014). “The influence of ethical leadership on trust and work engagement: An exploratory study.” SA Journal of Industrial Psychology, 40(1). Retrieved from http://www.sajip.co.za/index.php/sajip/article/view/1210/1699

Kannaiah, D. & Shanthi, R. (2015). “A Study on Emotional Intelligence At Work Place.” European Journal of Business and Management, 7(24): 147-154 Retrieved from https://researchonline.jcu.edu.au/40340/1/40340%20Kannaiah%20and%20Shanthi%202015.pdf

Knight, J. R. et al (2015). “The Impact of Emotional Intelligence on Conditions of Trust among Leaders at the Kentucky Department for Public Health.” Frontiers in Public Health, 3(33). Retrieved from doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2015.00033

Kumar,S., Adhish, V. & Chauhan, A. (2015). “Managing Bosses and Peers.” Indian Journal of Community Medicine, 40(1): 14-18. Retrieved https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-015-1016-8

Mladkova,L. Zouharova, J. & Novy, J. (2015). “Motivation and Knowledge Workers.” Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 207. 768-776. Retrieved from doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.10.163

Okello, D. & Gilson, L. (2015). “Exploring the influence of trust relationships on motivation in the health sector: a systematic review.” Human Resources for Health, 13(16). Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1186/s12960-015-0007-5

Zak, P.J. (2017). “The Neuroscience of Trust.” Harvard Business Review, Jan-Feb issue. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2017/01/the-neuroscience-of-trust

May 24, 2023
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Money Motivation Employee

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