Trust is given a pride of place where people get involved. Businesses are operated with long-term strategies made up and carried out grounded on the trust between the company and customers further empowered by the employees’ trust. Even if it is true that the customer’s trust on products and services in the market will result in business survival and growth, the value of employees’ trust, which backs up for delivering better products that will win out in the market, has not yet been widely discussed.
An organisational culture in which employees trust each other and the senior managers, by whom they are ruled, is a blessing for successfully implementing communication, team work and performance strategies and finally attaining corporate success. It is the employees who are committed to building consumer trust. Consequently, there is no argument that an employee, who has lost trust in the organisation, is unable to work for convincing customers to trust the organisation.
Once the trust disappears, it paves the way for a lot of HR issues, which will spill over into other departments as well. Hence, employee trust can be named as a priceless asset, which is the base for creating corporate goodwill. A dialogue has to be built as to how employees’ trust can be made and maintained.
The foundation to build the trust is laid by transparency. If the employees don’t know what happens in the organisation, they are likely to propagate rumours sowing the seeds of mistrust. Void of information will be filled by rumours. Hence, there should not be a void of information. Activities in the organisation have to be transparent.
Building a transparent environment can be done in different ways. It has to begin with basic things. Employees have a right to be aware of what directors decide at meetings and financial results and so forth. There might be some sensitive information that cannot be publicly shared among the employees. The employees must be encouraged to ask questions. Thereafter, they should be provided with reliable solutions. However, transparency is an essential ingredient of trust.
If you treat some employees better than others, it will kill trust. When managers hesitate to treat employees equally or based on the performance, employees cannot be prevented from arriving at a conclusion that their dedication and performance will not be measured and remain futile. This sows the seeds of suspicion in the minds of the employees. Sexism and favouritism are considered to be performance killers. Once people get promoted, solely having considered their sex or loyalty to the manager, the employees tend to mistrust the whole hierarchy of the organisation.
Every employee is willing to follow the goals set by a manager whom they can put their trust in. Furthermore, when the suggestions made by the employees have been included in strategies, they are confident that they are part of the organisation. However, what is more important is that equality lays the foundation for trustworthiness. When there is an organisational culture in which impartiality is assured, the employees are encouraged to work harder and make suggestions for taking innovative steps. Hence, impartiality is a must in carrying out trust-building strategies.
If you are unable to perform your job properly, you will lose the employees’ trust, as they know that you cannot deliver the promise made to them. The simple formula in this regard is that you have to be competent, if you want to be trusted by your subordinates. Your knowledge and skills have to be updated on a daily basis, so that you can lead and develop your employees. If you are a marketing person, you must have that knowledge. If you are a finance person, you must have that knowledge.
However, you cannot be an expert in all the spheres. You ought to be competent in your chosen area. When employees are convinced of your competency, it becomes easy for you to get work done by them. Specially, this can be widely discussed concerning team-work. If the team members are not competent enough in their given duties, they cannot trust one another. On the other hand, if the employees are good at their respective fields, so that they are able to exceed expectations that their superiors keep on them, their trust will go from strength to strength.
The nature of the connection between the employees and managers is a decisive factor in building trust. It is needless to say that the employees believe in the organisation that it will develop and provide them with opportunities to grow. It is when this trust is broken that the employees tend to leave the company, propagating rumours that the workplace can never be trusted. This, of course, prevents highly qualified professionals from joining the institute. It cannot be expected that an employee disillusioned at the company will fulfil the customer needs. Hence, the employees’ mistrust will spill over into customers’ mistrust, which ultimately results in a loss-making business organisation.
It could be seen that the business world faced crises throughout the history due to mistrust. Even ethics have been introduced to protect the trust. Accordingly, the employees’ trust is a must in the workplace.
(Amila Muthukutti holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of Colombo and can be reached at email@example.com)