How Leaders Help Prevent Project Misalignment from Eroding Trust

September 5, 20191:53 pm
Generic placeholder image

Trust, anywhere in the world, is essential. Especially in organisations, trust is the keystone and root of all business success. It is also the fundamental of high accelerated innovation, collaboration, and business partnering. When the whole team in a company trust each other, it will enable better execution and higher loyalty from both customers and employees. Besides, Trustologie survey found that high trust companies can generate 2.5 times more revenue than low trust organisations.

Unfortunately, trust is the most expensive thing in this world. EY survey on trust in the workplace revealed that trust within an organisation is hard to earn, with only one in six respondents globally have “very little” or “no trust” in their current employer. Less than half of full-time workers surveyed also said they have a great deal of trust in their current employer, boss, or team/colleagues.

See also: How Can Business Leaders Maintain Trust Across the Analytics Lifecycle?

But why is there less trust among individuals in an organisation?

As cited in EY study, professionals do not trust employers due to unfair compensation and benefits, including the actual salary and the pay decision-making process. There is also no equal opportunity for pay and promotion. The worst reason, according to respondents, is that leaders within an organisation do not deliver and act on their promises and are not communicating openly with the team.

How lack of trust affecting the workforce

As mentioned earlier, having less or no trust within an organisation can badly influence how employees work and behave. It can also decrease revenue of the company as lower trust means lower productivity. Tolero Solutions in their lack of trust survey unveiled that little to no trust contribute to talent acquisition costs and employer turnover costs. Employees, instead of being productive with their work, will spend more time on self-preservation and job hunting which cost around 150 – 200 percent of employee’s salary cost.

Moreover, lack of trust will reduce transparency and communication which leads to low innovation and lack of agility to changing conditions. When there is no open communication or transparency, leaders can no longer foster the key of culture trust between them and employees that worsen the situation within workforce.

“A low level of trust would have a major influence on employees’ likelihood to look for another job, work only the minimum number of hours required, and be less engaged/productive.” – Ernst and Young

Acknowledging behaviour that erodes trust

Do you know that ignoring or delaying communication can break your relationship with your team, resulting in a lack of trust? Simply, understand these practice of behaviours to prevent workplace relationship from eroding trust.

“When expectations are not met, trust is eroded and the damage is done to the relationship.”

a. Speeding is not the answer, ignoring is the worst answer

Technological advances help a business move faster than ever before. Sometimes, a business will also speed up its operational strategy or process to achieve an important deadline or goal. Achieving goals is essential but you might not realise that certain “speed up” action can actually worsen trust between you and employees. Why? Because you might miss or overlook certain goals that actually have an impact on your employees’ view of trust. For example, team building activities, training courses, special projects, or team meetings can easily be ignored to achieve greater goals.

A piece of advice: You can speed up the process but do remember to pay close attention and care for your employees.

b. Fail to align words and action

Respondents of EY survey said that delivering on promises was the most critical factor in determining trust in employers. Employees often notice and remember your words. Hence, forgetting to apply the concept of your meaning in real action will likely worsen the situation.

A piece of advice: Leaders should not easily say promise or “will” words to employees. But when you do, even if it is hard to fulfil, leaders should still act on it.

c. Delayed and insufficient response and communication is a big deal

Open communication and transparency are two factors that determine how trust is built in the workplace, meaning that a lack of clear and timely communication can undermine trust in any relationship. You should not answer too long on employee’s specific questions as it might result in “I don’t think the boss will agree” kind of thoughts. At the same time, employees will put low trust in their relationship with you, triggering their assumption to put little effort in collaborating with you.

A piece of advice: Spend time to answer all important questions your employee asks you. But if you are too busy to answer, leave a note saying “I am in full schedule now, we can have a conversation on it later. Please remind me.”

Read also: How Can HR Help Build Trust between Employees and Freelancers?