Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What To Do When Trust Has Been Shattered – Part I

While the economy continues to batter more and more organizations, executives are finally starting to understand what will happen when the economy does turn around.

Their employees will leave.


Because they can.

The early 20th century set the marker for a lack of trust between management and employees. The result of that lack of trust were labor unions that sought to protect the rights of the common worker against companies that took advantage of their employees, ignored their rights and desires, and used and discarded them like an old tissue.

Is this starting to sound familiar?

I don’t think there is much chance of a sudden resurgence of labor unions to protect today’s white collar workers because the 21st century worker has many more options than their earlier 20th century counterparts. But the impact on companies’ bottom lines could be just as dramatic. Because when knowledge workers leave an organization, they take knowledge, history and customers with them.

To counter this impending catastrophe, many companies have focused on the need to build trust in the organization in an effort to engage the employees and convince them to stay. But the lack of trust is not just between management and employees; it is now firmly embedded within the management itself. In other words, managers cannot start building trust within the organization, because they themselves don’t trust the organization. They believe, and in many cases rightfully so, that this new emphasis on trust is not so much a change of heart for the organization, but merely the latest management fad that will soon be forgotten.

If you are an executive and this describes you, stop reading right here. I can’t help you.

If, on the other hand, you have a sincere desire to build a well functioning team of highly engaged and motivated employees who trust their management and want to see the business succeed, then read on.

There is nothing so difficult to gain, and so easy to lose, as someone’s trust. This is certainly true at an individual level, and even more true when we are talking about an organization. And, rebuilding trust that has previously been lost is even more of a challenge.

So how do you go about rebuilding trust?

Let's state the obvious first. Until you acknowledge that you MIGHT have a trust problem you will never be able to solve it. Hopefully the fact that you have read this far indicates that you see this part of the problem. In line with this first item is getting the rest of the executive team to acknowledge this problem as well. Sometimes the issue is so obvious that everyone can easily acknowledge it. Other times you may need empirical proof of the lack of trust. An Organizational 360° survey, when properly administered can clearly highlight this issue for your organization. When effectively administered the results will be like a flashing red light that cannot be denied.

Tune in next week as we discuss what to do now that everyone acknowledges there is a lack of trust in the organization.

At ECI Learning Systems LLC, we are dedicated to helping companies get the greatest return from their most valuable asset: their employees. We work with you to align 3 key organizational factors:

• Your Company Culture
• The Leadership Styles of your key managers
• The Expectations of your Employees

When these 3 factors are aligned, you create an energy in your company that improves productivity, reduces absenteeism, increases creativity, and positively impacts your bottom line. Contact ECI Learning Systems LLC today to get your free Workplace Evaluation.

Until next time.....

Dave Meyer
ECI Learning Systems, LLC

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Dave for yet another insight. Trust has been on my radar for some time.

    I look forward to part II