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Trust is the key factor for a happy workforce in finance

Trust is the key factor for a happy workforce in finance

By Gemma McCall, CEO and co-founder of Culture Shift, the software development business that builds products to empower organisations to tackle harassment and bullying.

While some financial sector bosses have welcomed remote working with open arms, others have struggled to trust their employees to work autonomously with some even ramping up on surveillance to track exactly what their workforce is doing.

This may however be problematic for organisations looking to attract and retain talent as, according to recent research the team here at Culture Shift conducted, most (86%) of Britain’s financial workforce say having an employer that trusts them is important for their overall happiness at work. A further 80% also admit autonomy is essential and working at a company with a strong ethical background is key, signalling some employers may need to rethink their strategies as they plan for the future.

The same report also uncovered that remote working opportunities are imperative for the majority (82%) of finance employees across the UK, with more than half (56%) saying they would like to remain working from home, 53% dreading going back to the workplace and 56% are worried they won’t be able to adjust to going back. That said, one-third (33%) have felt imposter syndrome (self-doubt) more so while working from home.

If companies want to attract the best in the business, then they need to adapt and take note of what employees are really looking for in a workplace. The pandemic has resulted in more calls for flexible working, and different ways of approaching communication and collaboration. This has also led employees to reflect on what’s most important to them – and trust ranks higher than all other factors.

As businesses continue navigating the pandemic and conversations around the future of workplace culture take precedence, employees are hoping everything from flexibility to trust, autonomy, a competitive salary and strong ethics will be at the top of the agenda.

On the variables impacting employee happiness at work, our research found that:

  • 87% of finance employees confirm good communication from their employer is important to them
  • 89% say a competitive salary is integral
  • 83% say flexibility is an important factor to their overall happiness at work
  • 85% say work-life balance and the ability to plan work around family/childcare is important
  • 81% say progression opportunities are key
  • 78% confirm working at a company with a good CSR scheme is essential
  • 73% say free perks, such as paid for breakfast, yoga classes and gym memberships are important
  • 84% of employees say that working at a company with a good reputation for treating employees fairly is integral to their happiness at work
    Gemma McCall

    Gemma McCall

  • 74% say working somewhere with a diverse workforce is important
  • Two-thirds (66%) would like to return to the workplace with flexitime, while 77% would like to do a mix of working from the workplace and home

These are the factors that are proving increasingly important and should be front of mind for those at the top if they want to not only attract, but retain the best talent for their organisations.

Ultimately, not prioritising employee wellbeing could have far reaching implications for businesses in the long-term. Those that are as accommodating, open and honest with their employees as possible, will be the ones reporting higher levels of employee satisfaction and wellbeing, and in turn, better outcomes.

Since the start of the lockdown, employees around the country have shown their dedication and commitment to the businesses they work for. It’s now time for employers to lead from the top and show their commitment to wellbeing in the workplace, even if the workplace is their kitchen table for the foreseeable future.

Culture Shift exists to lead positive change in workplace culture, through building products that empower organisations to tackle harassment and bullying. Our proprietary online reporting platform ‘Report + Support’ gives businesses the insight they need to monitor and prevent bullying and harassment, and support anybody who experiences it, either in the office or remotely. The software allows users to report any incident safely and anonymously and access further support – enabling organisations to take a proactive and preventative approach to protecting their culture, while eliminating the stigma around reporting any form of harassment.

To see more insights uncovered by the research or to download the full ‘Maintaining workplace culture in a rapidly changing environment’ report, visit

Global Banking & Finance Review


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