Two months ago, at an all-employee meeting at Company XYZ, rumors had been swirling about cuts for employees. The CEO assured everyone they wouldn’t have anything to worry about; the rumors were untrue, and the company was stable. Yet last week they called 80 people in, one by one, on Friday, to tell them they had lost their jobs. The quarter simply hadn’t seen the gains they had hoped. And now when rumors pop up, nobody knows who to trust. They just keep their heads down and hope for the best, and as a result, relationships have become strained.
In any company, confidentiality may not allow for complete transparency, but a business that does not foster trust among its employees cannot succeed. What can you do to create a culture of trust?
- Lower their anxiety levels. Places that make their employees constantly anxious have distrustful employees. If, for example, perfection wins out over careful risk-taking and employees feel terrified to make a mistake, they’ll always worry about repercussions. And if you don’t stay consistent with your responses to errors, that promotes anxiety as well. Additionally, a cutthroat environment naturally causes employees to question each others’ motives, making good working relationships difficult if not impossible.
- Maintain integrity. Say what you mean and mean what you say. How can employees trust their employer when he constantly claims he’ll do something, and then changes his mind or doesn’t make good on his word? Keep your promises — and don’t make ones you can’t keep because constant excuses mean a breach of trust as well. Be honest with your employees as much as possible, even when unpleasant. Doing so will also establish a culture of integrity among them by showing you value it and live it yourself.
- Communicate shared goals. Every company should have an overall goal or objective for employees to work toward. When it becomes clear to them an employer’s personal goals supersede those of the whole, they’ll feel violated that their work goes toward one person, not the overall company. There truly is “no I in team” — a team that comes together for a shared goal trusts each other and works successfully.
If you want the best from your employees and yourself, create a culture of trust among everyone. To find your next great candidate, partner with the professional recruiters at PrideStaff Thousand Oaks Ventura County, trusted among clients and candidates for years.