Prospect Trust Audits


Professor Rosalind Searle (PI)Dr. Charis Rice and Dr. Ann-Marie Nienaber

Trust is an important organisational resource, enhancing commitment, identification and citizenship. Distrust, in contrast, increases turnover and can escalate counterproductive behaviours including sabotage, theft and bullying. Yet there is only rudimentary knowledge about the trust levels in different parts of organisation. Working with the Trade Union Prospect, this project improves awareness of how and why trust matters to employers by examining using new trust audit tool HR systems and key relationships. Creating a deep dive into an organisation using results from surveys, interviews and focus groups, bespoke reports are devised showing levels and sources of trust and distrust, as well as opportunities for employers to benchmark and learn from others.

This project is based on 4* publications from the team on trust and HR, and trust and control. In addition to contributing to the development of original academic knowledge, it enhances the understanding of stakeholder trust for employing organisations. As a result it offers information that can inform organisations strategic and organisational development through identifying the levels and range of trust and distrust issues they face. As a result it can lead to better targeting of resources and strategies to address the distinct and significant issues an employer can face. Participating organisations work together with the team to deliver workshops for their executives and HR teams, as well as at employee conferences to allow the sharing of the data collected and to create more informed business plans.

A broader impact includes an invited workshop delivered at the annual conferences of the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development on 9th Nov 2016 entitled:  Trust in the Face of Change and Uncertainty. This workshop was delivered by Prof. Rosalind Searle and the Auditor General of Wales, who discussed his organisation’s work with the team.

The project and its participating organisations will take part in an event hosted by Prospect in Spring 2017 that will enable the sharing of the results of the work across a wider range of employers and trade unions. 

 Queen’s Award for Enterprise Logo
University of the year shortlisted
QS Five Star Rating 2023