Trust in the work place has been dramatically reduced in the last two years.
According to a new research, six out of ten employees are de-motivated, tired and at risk of burnout.
The report by leading UK Human Resources Company, Ceridian, surveyed 1,000 employees with a quarter admitting the level of trust for their managers has eroded.
The downturn, pay cuts, reduced benefits and redundancy programmes were to blame for the erosion.
Aberdeen Recruitment Company Thorpe Molloy says the statistics should raise alarm bells with employers.
Amanda McCulloch, Managing Director of Thorpe Molloy Recruitment says managers and leaders who recognise that putting effort into their behaviour in order to be considered trustworthy will reap huge rewards.
“Trust is a two way street – as well as employees trusting their managers, managers must trust their teams, how else can you have a genuine conversation, devolve responsibility and talk openly about future plans? The adage that people join good organisations and leave bad managers is certainly true and, although it is still an employer’s market, it should be a priority for all businesses to minimise attrition rates and retain talent by valuing and engaging their staff, otherwise disillusioned employees will leave as soon as a good opportunity arises.”
According to Robert Gordon University lecturer on leadership Dr Robert Smith, the key to a company’s engaged workforce in difficult times is strong, inspirational leadership.
“Inspirational leaders are more likely to be listened to, appreciated and valued. Some of the best leaders have a lot of humility and don’t always assume they know all the answers .It’s also about having a strong strategic focus and the ability to be a lateral thinker, with good vision and communication skills.
The greatest challenge is to create an environment where people can make and express honest decisions. Key is the ability to help staff connect personal values and goals to the business’ values and goals, encourage creativity and entrepreneurial experimentation. It’s all about team work and making business fun, even in these tough times.”
Thorpe Molloy Recruitment believes that although good leadership is essential, an effective relationship with line management is what really makes the difference.
“A good line manager can help reduce absence, improve productivity and retain staff. It makes good business sense to ensure line managers are trained to motivate, communicate and engage with employees” continues Amanda.
Thorpe Molloy Recruitment suggests that employers can take several practical steps to rebuild trust:
Training and Development
Maintaining a commitment to training and development builds the skills of employees and is a very obvious way to convey the message “we are investing in you and your future development”.
you don’t have to be a great orator to communicate well. Good communication is about listening and talking. To build inclusiveness, line managers should try to communicate clearly, timely and consistently across their teams, ensuring that employees understand the messages. Employees often don’t want more communication, but they do want to understand how key messages relate to them and their jobs.
High Say: Do Ratio
It may seem obvious, but as a line manager, if you say you are going to do something, make sure you do – it avoids a reputation for being “all talk and no action” and builds satisfaction and commitment. Clearly thought out actions that are executed well demonstrate that you are a clear thinker, which builds trust.
Know What Makes Your People Tick
Every individual has their own set of personal motivations, to build trust, managers should take the time to understand what these are and combine them with general motivating behaviour such as fairness, providing support to overcome obstacles, facilitating progress and not changing goals autocratically.
Nurture Confidence in Your Employees
People who trust others are generally happier, more optimistic and see opportunities rather than threats in the workplace. This combination is much more likely to result in people working together to solve problems, be creative and energised, which in turn builds confidence. Managers should acknowledge a job well done as feeling appreciated and valued builds trust and confidence. Learning how to coach people to improve performance will also build confidence.
Delegate and Devolve Work to Stimulate and Energise
Sometimes, it reaps its own reward to take a chance on people and their ideas. But it doesn’t have to mean taking a great leap of faith, steps such as delegating work to widen an area of responsibility or to learn new skills will empower people to take initiative rather than always referring back to the line manager for approval.
“Interestingly, it’s not only business leaders who are often positioned in the bottom half of trust surveys, but journalists and politicians too. With a looming Labour party leader election it is surely the case that the winner will be who people believe they can trust the most” comments Amanda.