Editor's Desk - May/June 2014

A Foundation of Trust

"Trust is the glue of life. It's the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It's the foundational principle that holds all relationships."     —Stephen Covey

Trust is one of the essential cornerstones of any relationship, whether business or personal. When employers and employees don't trust one another, there is nothing that can transform them into a well-oiled, top-performing team. When they do, engagement gets a boost, and performance improves.

That's why it's disturbing to hear the results of a recent study from the American Psychological Association that shows nearly one in four workers don't trust their employers. And only about half believe that their employer is communicating openly with them. One in three workers said that their employer is not always honest and truthful with them.

These troubles with trust should be a wake-up call for employers, said David W. Ballard, Psy.D., MBA and head of the APA's Center for Organizational Excellence. "Trust plays an important role in the workplace and affects employees' well-being and job performance," he said. "The layoffs, benefit cuts and job insecurity that accompanied the recession put a strain on the employee-employer relationship and people aren't quick to forget."

What are some of the tools employers can use to boost trust among the workforce? According to the APA, workers report having more trust in companies that recognize employees for their contributions, provide opportunities for involvement and communicate effectively.

Unfortunately, less than half of employees are satisfied with the recognition practices, and growth and development opportunities offered at their companies.

Recognition matters. As it turns out, it matters a lot. If you're not acknowledging the hard work and above-and-beyond efforts of your team, you're doing your business a disservice. We all know that recognition can make the difference between average and above average business performance. It also helps create the foundation of trust so essential to the employer-employee relationship.

This month, we have plenty of ideas to help you boost recognition and engagement at your own company. Now that everyone's using their smartphones to snap and share photos, everyone's getting a little bit more interested in photography—and you can take advantage of that interest by rewarding employees with digital cameras that can do a whole lot more than the camera phone can handle. Whether it's a DSLR for a budding photographer, an underwater camera for team members on a tropical trip or a Wi-Fi-enabled camera that will make it that much easier to post and share photos, there's something for everyone. You can learn more about the latest trends in cameras beginning here.

In Pathways to Success, we turn to gift cards—long an effective and popular tool in the incentive and reward kit. Following the rundown of the latest news in this area, you'll find an entire directory of gift card providers who are members of the Incentive Gift Card Council. Use this resource when you need to find gift card partners who have the knowledge and experience to make gift cards work for you.

In Measuring Up, we discuss how to create an incentive and reward program that will measure up—justifying its expense with measurable outcomes. And finally, in State of Play, we talk about the ongoing gamification trend, and what that means for sales teams.

All of these tools, plus the latest news, expert advice and product introductions, are sure to come in handy as you work to build that foundation of trust in your own employees, partners and customers. And that's serious business.


Emily Tipping
Editorial Director,