This content first appeared on HRZone, an online HR publication dedicated to bringing science, opinion, analysis and insight to bear on the rapidly-developing HR function.
Culture plays the role of cement in binding the members of a group together. If cement is not good it malfunctions and affects the bond that exists between the members of a group. If the element of trust misses from culture then mistrust creeps in. Mistrust weakens the relationship among the members of a group. Furthermore, it becomes difficult to achieve a common goal in the presence of mistrust. Now look at mistrust in the context of an organisation. It weakens relationship among the members of an organisation. Employees feel vulnerable as they are always suspected. Workers do not give their best that affects production, services and sales. Organisational profits decrease. Issues of workforce engagement arise and employee turnover increases. Chances of cheating and deceit within organisation increase. Different studies have revealed that almost 60-65% employees of companies do not trust their leaders. Reason is absence of the culture of trust within organisations. Obscure agendas, concealing organisational aims & goals, dishonest and unbiased leadership, tax evasions, employee benefit cuts, lack of readiness at the part of organisational leadership to hear employee feedback, unclear performance goals and hidden employee performance measuring scales are some of the major reasons for the culture of mistrust in organisations.
After facing the consequences of the culture of mistrust now organisations are realising the importance of trust. Therefore, all around the world companies are trying to make cultural changes in this regard. But cultural change is not as easy as it sounds. It takes time, commitment and efforts to replace the culture of mistrust with the culture of trust. The following practices are helpful in building the environment of trust:
- Study the actual reasons of mistrust and learn about the damages it is causing.
- Always have clear aims & goals in front of you that what do you want to achieve by having the culture of trust in your organisation.
- Create a clear program in this regard. Have workers on board during the course of crafting it.
- Set performance measures to gauge the performance of the program. Satisfied workforce, low employee turnover and increased profitability can be some of the performance measures in this respect.
- Leadership must take the first step in this regard by being as role model. Cultural change travels fast from top to bottom.
- Leaders should reduce the say-do gap.
- Fulfil promises that are being made with the workforce.
- Make your workforce understand the importance of trust. Offer training and courses in this regard.
- Not just in their professional lives leaders must try to be honest in their personal matters as well.
- Bring in transparency in terms of organisational process, decision making, goals’ communication and financial matters.
- Do not over estimate your employees always assign those goals to them that they can achieve.
- In case of failure be polite and generous.
- Always separate dirty fish from the rest in order to avoid setbacks.
- Remember in many cases mistrust spreads due to unclear and biased programs of performance management in organisations. Create a clear and fair system in this regard and award rewards on the basis of performance.
- Tell inspiring stories to your workforce in regard of trust.
If an organisation is making cultural changes in terms of trust it does not mean that its leaders close their eyes and start trusting everything they hear, they must always keep their eyes open to avoid any setbacks. Keep it in mind that it takes time to clear the poison of mistrust from the environment of an organisation, thus be patience. Environment of trust takes time to grow. Leadership of an organisation plays the most important role in it.