The result? No one expects their employer to look out for the employee’s best interests. Employees are out for themselves, with all the implications that implies for teamwork, community and social integration in the workplace.
An excellent article last week in the Financial Times, “Give More Power to Your People,” dealt with topic brilliantly, using the example of a cultural turnaround at British Gas. The article raises three themes I deal with throughout the week in my posts, the themes of employee trust and loyalty, the dehumanization of the workplace, and rebuilding an employee relationship with stories that resonate.
On trust, the article cited two experts on the topic:
Octavius Black, chief executive of the Mind Gym, a performance consultancy, warns that while staff retention has held up during the downturn, that could soon change. “Over 60 per cent of employees currently say they plan to switch companies, with 25 per cent actively looking for a new job,” he says. “The risk is even more acute with top performers, whose feeling of engagement with their employer has dropped three times faster than the average employee’s in the past 12 months.”Is there an opportunity to restore employee trust? The answer to a plea submitted to the “Dear Workforce” article in Workforce Management gives some guidelines, mostly around open, honest communication with no hidden agendas. Of course, in an environment when trust has already been lost even getting employees to believe you are honestly communicating with them is a struggle.
Jonathon Hogg, head of the people and operations practice at PA Consulting, a leading management and IT consulting firm, says the recession has changed how employees view their relationship with employers. “Employees are disappointed with business.”
I believe the trust relationship can be restored, but not until overcome the dehumanization of the workforce – the topic of my next post. What do you think? Is trust dead? Can it be restored? Should it be restored? How?