By Jayne Morris on 14 Sep 2017
I have just read an article which informs me that a quarter of employees don’t trust their employer, and only about half believe their employer is open and upfront with them. To me this is incredibly disappointing to read as the employee/employer relationship, just like any, should be based on mutual trust and respect.
What is the key to this though? I believe it is quite simple: lack of trust is very likely to be down to a lack of transparency in the workplace.
Employees who feel that their manager or boss keeps them informed have a firm foundation for their role, they can identify with the company’s goals and will work hard to achieve them. No one likes the unknown, it can lead to insecurities and can divert focus from the job in hand.
In both my CEO day job and my Trustee role, I see evidence of how transparency builds strong workplace relationships. By keeping people involved and part of the decision making process you have people who will help you achieve your goals. This results in better engagement, problem solving and accountability.
Of course there are times when, as a business leader, you are not always in the position to give staff the answers they want, this could be down to a chain of reporting, personal sensitivities or HR processes to follow. However there is no reason why you cannot be honest about this and let the individual know that you are unable to disclose (as long as this is the genuine reason and not an excuse!) Treat your employees like adults, they are not breakable and give them this respect and you will get it back in return.
I feel this demonstration of transparency in an employee relationships starts at the interview process and this is a clear way to establish to a prospective employee the sort of company they could work for, it continues through the offer process, induction and probation. Start as you mean to go on and do not assume the trust is there, it needs to be built (by both parties).
I am exceedingly lucky on a daily basis to work with a great team of people however I do not take this for granted. Regardless if it is someone who has been working for us for 10 years or 10 days I am always interested in hearing what they have to say. Whether that is improving a process (it’s recruitment and we are REC Gold audited so there are a few) or the working environment (our flexi time and work from home initiative came from the floor - I’m too old school to have come up with it on my own!) employee contributions have and will continue to shape who we are and I would not have it any other way.