Confidentiality in the Workplace: How Employees Trust HR Teams with Their Data


The importance of protecting the privacy and confidentiality rights of all employees cannot be undermined. A company's success depends on its ability to get workers invested in their roles which starts with protecting their confidentiality matters.

According to an HR trust survey,  31% of employees can't trust HR to keep data confidential. This is a surprising statistic and it's one that HR teams need to take seriously.

Although many digital technologies such as online HRIS software are in progress to keep the confidentiality of employee data and build trust in HR. By keeping all employee data secure, online HRIS software helps protect employees from potential identity theft or fraud.

Key Reasons of its Importance

Employees are increasingly concerned about the security of their data, and they're not willing to trust their HR teams with it. When it comes to trusting HR with employees’ confidentiality matters, there are a few key reasons why this is so important.
  1. Employees are constantly sharing their personal information with HR, leaving them vulnerable to data breaches.
  2. Not only are employees entrusting the security of their own private data in HR's hands, but also that of their coworkers.
  3. The lack of transparency between HR departments and employees is a growing concern among workers today.
  4. Social engineering is another major headache that HR professionals have to look out for.

Best Practices to Improve Trust Relations with HR Data Confidentiality

1. Encryption Technology

A best practice to follow is to use data encryption software, which scrambles employees' information so that if their computer is hacked or stolen, the data on it will be difficult to access.

2. Establish Clear Policies and Procedures

Clear policies and procedures allow employees to understand: How data is collected, stored, and transmitted; how the data is protected while it is collected, stored, or transmitted; and how long the company will keep the data.

Employees should be aware of these factors when sharing company data with anyone or anywhere outside of the company.

3. Provide Training to Employees on How to Protect Their Data

The more educated or aware an employee is about protecting their data, the better it is for the company.
HR professionals should educate employees on what they can do to protect their own information including checking their privacy settings, changing passwords regularly, and never sharing personal information with others who might misuse it.

4. Reward Employees for Following Best Practices

Employers can encourage employees to follow these best practices by rewarding them with incentives, for example by giving out gift cards, company apparel, or even just verbal thank yous.

5. Consider Legal Action Against Breachers

It is essential to take appropriate legal action against employees who share, distribute, or misuse the company's data. The consequences of failing to do so include lawsuits from angry customers and managers taking disciplinary action.

Punishment for breaching confidentiality includes termination, fines, bans on future employment in the field, and fines.

6. Be Careful Who You Give Access to

Because of the risk of data being breached, it is important to be careful giving access to company information.

When creating job applications for hiring employees, potential candidates should have limited or no access to sensitive information.

7. Implement a System for Monitoring Employees

It is important to implement a system of monitoring employees who have access to sensitive data to ensure that they are not misusing their access, and do not allow candidates to gain this type of access until there is a need.

8. Consider an Optional Written Contract with  Employees

An optional written contract can help provide a strong foundation for an open and trusting relationship between employers and employees.

In the contract, the employer sets out their confidentiality policies and what will happen if those standards are breached by the employee.

This gives employees clarity regarding how confidential information should be handled.

9. Limit Access to Company Devices

Employers should implement company policies limiting access to company devices only to those who need it, and therefore must limit the data that is accessible from these devices.

This can be done by implementing a policy prohibiting employees from using personal smartphones or tablets for work purposes unless they are supervised, not allowing any information in cloud-based storage unless it is properly encrypted, and limiting the personal data given to third-party employees.


HR teams are investing in tools that allow them to work with their employees on a more personal level.  The power of these collaborative platforms is evident as they provide an opportunity for brands and organizations to connect deeply with employees, which can lead to increased employee satisfaction and retention rates.

The relationship between HR and employees is a two-way street. But, by communicating openly about what each side expects of the other, there can be better understanding and trust among all parties involved.

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