In recent research, the CIPD has found that 37 percent of employees don’t trust their senior managers, and 33 percent think the trust between employees and senior managers is weak.

Without trust, many businesses find themselves in turmoil, whether that lack of trust relates to the public or those within the organisation.

John Cridland, director-general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), has been quoted as saying at the start of 2014: “If 2013 was the year that business trust took a hammering on a range of issues, from corporate taxation to energy prices, then 2014 must be the year that business leaders take action to rebuild that trust.”

The positive news is that many business leaders are optimistic in terms of trust from the public. Indra Nooyi, chairman and chief executive of PepsiCo, has been quoted as saying there are “green shoots” of recovery when it comes to the public trusting business in the wake of the financial crisis.

She suggests that too many of the world businesses have been tarnished by the global recession and the small percentage actually responsible for it should be “isolated” in people’s minds.

The problems of lack of trust with a business are numerous, but one of the major issues is that it creates an “every man for himself” attitude that rips through the organisation both on the outside and within. Mistrust is contagious, breeding a negative attitude that affects thought and behaviour and gets in the way of business.

The role of HR in creating and improving trust levels is intrinsic to success. Focusing on acting with integrity is vitally important, and by injecting this element of business into appraisals, promotions and rewards, you can help breathe trust into your organisation.