Business Briefs: Universal Trust Truths, Clean Hands in the Workplace & Siri at the Office

One thing employees agree on? Hand hygiene. Photo via Pexels

Welcome to Business Briefs! The world of academic publications features fascinating findings from real-world experiments in business and the marketplace. Here are some key takeaways and applicable nuggets of knowledge that may be helpful for your business.

Workplace Trust

Researchers recently completed a retrospective analysis of 25 years of research on trust in the workplace. The literature review was designed to detect common themes in research, as well as theories that seem to be well-evidenced in several studies. Based on the collection of research, a few conclusions present themselves, including:

  1. When employees trust their leaders, higher levels of performance follow. 
  2. When team members trust each other, the team performs better.
  3. People are judged as trustworthy based on their competence, benevolence and integrity. 
  4. Integrating employees in decision-making develops trust. 
  5. Face-to-face communication is better for building trust than other forms of communication. 

Of these conclusions, the third might be the most striking: Being trustworthy is more than a moral value, it’s a competence issue.

Read more here

Trust Within the Workplace: A Review of Two Waves of Research and a Glimpse of the Third – Kurt T. Dirks and Bart de Jong, Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior

Hand Hygiene

Never mind the COVID….cold and flu season is just around the corner, and the office has always been a terrific place to acquire a little bug. If it’s not floating around in the air, it’s on one of the shared surfaces. 

Which brings us to hand hygiene. It’s important. In fact, in a recent survey of 314 office workers, there’s something close to universal agreement when it comes to the critical role hand hygiene plays in keeping the office team healthy.

But what if your employer could install a monitoring system that sent you reminders and assessed your level of hand hygiene? What would you think of that?

Maybe not so much. 

Of the same 314 office workers who agreed that hand hygiene was super important stuff, 60% thought hygiene monitoring systems were invasions of privacy…although 60% also thought they’d feel safer if they could have a little warning when a colleagues’s hands were unclean. 

Read more here

Smart Hand Sanitisers in the Workplace: A Survey of Attitudes towards an Internet of Things Technology– Andrew D. Madden, Sophie Rutter, Catherine Stones and Wenbo Ai, International Journal of Environmental Public Health

Digital Assistance

Digital assistants are familiar tools for hands-free internet searching. On some days, the answers to all our questions are just a matter of consulting with Siri or Alexa.

Digital assistants are a growing part of workplace dynamics too. Researchers probed the experience of 536 office workers who used digital assistant resources, and the reviews were generally positive. Their study found that an employee’s satisfaction with a workplace digital assistants is linked to their sense that it helps performance, is fun-to-use, intelligent, trustworthy…and that it creates a mini-social experience. 

Read more here

“Alexa, let’s talk about my productivity”: The Impact of Digital Assistants on Work Productivity – Davit Marikyan, Savvas Papagiannidis, Omer F. Rana, Rajiv Ranjan, and Graham Morgan, Journal of Business Research