Rebuilding trust when it has broken down takes time, energy and commitment. It also takes some focus. If your company is among the many that have trust issues to address, the following five areas of focus should be at the forefront of your actions:
Make leadership visible. It seems we always start with this idea, but the truth is visibility of leadership is a key component of trust building. When employees see leaders out listening to staff and responding to issues, doors to increased levels of trust begin to open. Face to face communications are the only media you should consider until things have settle down and doors have been opened.
Make sure leaders are speaking honestly. This is not a time for spin doctoring and hiding. The facts – staff will spot such tactics in a flash, and trust will decline even further. And just as bad, rumor and innuendo will quickly fill the vacuum you leave by not telling all.
Be certain to allow for conversation and dialogue between leaders and staff and among everyone. Listen carefully to what is being said and coach your leaders to ensure they know when to speak and when to stay quite and simply listen.
Listen, listen and listen some more. Informal and formal listening processes will help deepen your understanding of what is on people’s mind and where the root of the trust issue lies. Sometimes we think we understand what the issues stem from – but often what we thought was the cause is nothing more than the kick that broke the dam.
Communicate, communicate, and communicate some more. And when you feel you have nothing more to communicate, begin again. Yes it can get tiring, but it is only through repetition, consistency and honesty that you can make headway.
That’s it…straight forward simple right!
- Forbes: 11 Leadership Secrets (geraldineruss.com)
- Four Considerations in Building Trust with Millennials