Employees cite trust as a key factor in decisions to stay or go, according to recent research.
There are two victims of the recession that are rarely discussed, but may prove pivotal during recovery - workplace trust and ethics.
According to a survey recently published by Deloitte LLC, nearly half of employed Americans who plan to look for a new job as the economy stabilizes cite a loss of trust in their employer over the past two years as a reason for leaving. Nearly as many say a lack of transparent leadership communication will drive them to seek greener pastures.
The message seems clear. Even, or perhaps especially, when times are tough, your employees expect your organization to uphold its promises, communicate with honesty and operate according to a clear set of values. And those employees who feel you haven't measured up may become disillusioned enough to leave.
Trust is the cornerstone of teamwork. It also fosters risk-taking and innovation, and empowers employees at every level to put in extra effort. Trust can't be conjured out of thin air. It can only be built on the example set by top management. Here are five basic points you can use to foster trust throughout your organization:
1. Honesty is the best policy. Keep your promises, tell the truth and - more than anything - make sure your actions match your words.
2. Keep the lines of communication open. It's tempting to keep bad news to yourself, but entrusting your troops with the unvarnished truth will inevitably breed loyalty. Don't let the rumor mill dictate your communication policy.
3. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Showing respect for your employees, their opinions, concerns and ideas lets them know that their contributions are important to the success of the enterprise. Bonus points for acting on the good advice you will inevitably receive as the result of an open-ear policy.
4. Create a shared vision. Teams that share a common vision trust their leader and one another. As the leader, you have an opportunity to create a collaborative environment in which ideas are shared and consensus is achieved.
5. Walk the narrow path. It bears repeating that nothing you do to engender trust in your organization will be effective if you don't set the example of integrity, respect and simply doing the right thing.
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