How Employees Can Find Employers They Trust

When I posted “No Love Lost” that recent surveys revealed that twenty-five percent to fifty percent of employees plan to leave their current employer in 2021, I received dozens of emails from blog readers asking, “how do I find an employer I can trust?”1,2

Those calls let to yesterday’s “Worn Out. Skeptical. Disengaged” post on trust, documented that one in three of employees surveyed don’t trust their employer, with the distrust percentage growing the lower one travels in the organization.3

Then Monday’s post answered a question from a 17-year-old worker asking about his restaurant manager taking away the employees’ free lunches (promised in the employee handbook) because customers didn’t return surveys. Another hit to trust.

Here are several suggestions:

Look for small and medium-sized employers, where your boss works alongside you. In smaller companies, you’re known as person, not a number.

Pay attention to vibe you get when you’re interviewing. Yes, look at them even as they’re looking at you.

Notice how a prospective employer structures the interview process. Do they invite their team members into the selection process? If so, that’s an indicator that they involve team members in decisions.

In their interviews, do they ask questions concerning what motivates you and what you’re hoping to find in a job and employer? If so, it signals they’re looking for an employee whose interests match their job.

Ask, “How did you weather the pandemic?” Listen closely to their answers.

If you’re able to interview current employees, ask employees questions that lead to surprising information but don’t raise defenses. “Every organization has stress. What stresses are here?” “What something you now know that you wish you’d known your first day?”

Would love to hear from blog readers your suggestions for sleuthing out employers you feel you can trust.

Next Tuesday, I’ll focus again on trust, from the standpoint of what employers can do to earn trust.




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8 thoughts on “How Employees Can Find Employers They Trust

  1. I agree that smaller or medium sized employers are much better at treating you like a human, even a friend, than a large organization where you’re just a number.

    I do wonder how many people are unfairly blaming employers for the stress from COVID, however. There was an unprecedented amount of obstacles for employers to navigate. Not just loss of revenue for most of them, but also being forced by local mandate to close locations, forced to minimize or even eliminate proximity between employees, scrambling to find scarce PPE, finding technological solutions that allowed the phones to roll to people’s homes or for people to be able to get on the office network from home, etc. Added to that, I think most people when working from home tend to be distracted by children, pets, and a wide open internet and no direct supervision, leading to a loss of productivity. I would suspect that even if employers tried to host virtual events to boost morale, that few people would want to come. People are “Zoomed out”. It seems to me that many employers have tried really hard to keep staff happy and that it’s kind of a no-win situation.

    1. Dee, you’re absolutely right. There are many that unfairly blame employers. I also realize that many “claim” to have more productivity when working from home but truly don’t.
      What we need to do it to clean up all of our acts–employer and employee. That’s actually what springboarded the book I just finished writing, Managing for Accountability. I believe our 2 touchstones need to be: integrity and accountability.

  2. Your comment that interviewees should be looking at their interviewers and evaluating them as they are being interviewed is spot on, I think! It sounds like trust grows when employees are able to work alongside or in part-time contact with top management at an employer–when it’s a good employer to begin with, of course. We turn to you in times of crisis, and you deliver!

  3. This was good . My thoughts are research the company’s leadership team as much as possible. They set the tone and carry out policies. What type of organizations do they belong to, listen to any audio posted publicly.

  4. Read the handbook before you say “yes” to the job offer – ideally, read it before your last interview so you can create questions based on it.

    I would have avoided one job like the plague if I had done it. It was a small family-owned company of a type I enjoyed working for previously. However, the hand book was more about punitive consequences than about supporting the employees with information about what was the normal expectation. It was very 1980’s “employees need to be controlled” and this was in 2012. At the least is showed there hadn’t been any serious update to their HR attitudes in 30 years.

    The job was awful, duties not as advertised, and I was chewed out for saving the company $70K in because I was “rude” for insisting we move to a better health insurance broker instead of the family friend they had been using. I quit after 4 months and moved onto a MUCH better position – after reading the handbook first!

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