Something Got Lost in the Recession...Employee Trust


Your organization has survived the Great Recession…a bit battered, somewhat bruised, but alive.  But don’t get ahead of yourself. You need to look beyond the numbers and focus on your people if you have a prayer of moving ahead.

But how do you know if employees lost faith during the recession. Did you have layoffs? Cutbacks?  A hiring freeze?  A moratorium on new initiatives? With these types of changes employees noticed and fretted. They polished up their resumes, resented the long hours at the office and generally soured on the business.

When times are tough employees tend to hang tight, but only for so long. For the last few years they’ve been in survival mode. Now that the job market is picking up, they may be packing up – and that will make your organization’s recovery from the recession tougher and more expensive.

According to a June 2010 Corporate Executive Board study, 25 percent of high-potential employees plan to leave their current companies within the year, compared with 10 percent in 2006.  Further, 21 percent of those surveyed identified themselves as “highly disengaged” – up threefold since 2007.

So if you want to renew your business, you’ve got to renew your employees’ trust.

Trust is a fundamental human dynamic. When employees are most committed and productive is when they trust their bosses, top leadership, their teammates, and the mission of the organization. They lose faith and check out when a leader breaks a promise, doesn’t set a clear direction or seems to be losing his grip on the business. Distrustful employees watch the clock, look longingly at your competitors, surf job boards, and don’t commit their full attention to their jobs. Ultimately, they cost you in lost productivity and turnover.

Employees who trust you create value. A 2010 Towers Watson study found that companies with high integrity – those whose employees cited senior management for consistency, communication and other trust-determining behaviors – generate financial returns that are twice those of companies with low integrity levels. Trust pays enormous dividends in the workplace.

The signs of a recovery are just starting to emerge so don’t get in your own way by neglecting your employees and losing the battle to regain their trust.

How do you get these dividends? You get with your executive team and HR and you launch a trust-building campaign to focus your workforce on the future, while acknowledging the pain of the past. There is no better time to start than today.

Work Effects has created the Trust & Capacity SurveyTM that assesses issue associated with trust in the workplace.

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