Wednesday, May 20, 2009

How to Lose Trust

Trust - a balance between what staff are giving and what they're receiving. If staff detect an imbalance between these two things, their trust in you or the organization will suffer.

You can gain trust by empowering people. Now that doesn't necessarily mean you have to give them the keys to the executive washrooms (that's another topic). It can simply mean trusting them to do the right thing, keeping them in the loop, or noticing the things that they do.

Every once in awhile you need to sit back and reflect on your relationships. Here's a list of behaviors, from Motivating Employees by Bruce and Pepitone, that cause employees to lose trust:
  • you say you'll empower them, but you find excuses not to,
  • you deliberately instill fear and anxiety in them,
  • you're manipulative,
  • you fail to deliver on promises or you make empty promises,
  • you inform the public about something before telling employees about it,
  • you don't tell them what you expect from them,
  • you give rewards that mean little or nothing to them,
  • you're inaccessible and always behind closed doors,
  • you delegate responsibility without authority.
Any of these sound familiar? If they do, it's time that you sit down and draft a new game plan. Give them what they need in order to do a good job and let them go at it.

Remember, I've said this before - most people don't quit their jobs, they quit their bosses.

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