What’s New at Astron Solutions
On April 5th, Senior Automation Expert John Sazaklis celebrated his 3 year anniversary with Astron Solutions. Senior Statistical Analyst Eric Katz will celebrate his 1 year anniversary at Astron on April 14th. Congratulations, John and Eric!
In other Astron Solutions news, a Business and Legal Reports (BLR) whitepaper quoted National Director Jennifer Loftus on the new EEO-1 regulations. Click here to download your copy of the article.
Do Your Employees Trust You?
“There are certain things a boss does not share with his employees. His salary: that would depress them. His bed. And I am not going to tell them that I will be reading their e-mails.” – Dundler Mifflin manager Michael Scott of NBC’s The Office
Do your employees trust you? Although this may not be a question that you have asked yourself much recently, it is an important one. With high rates of employee turnover and management’s emphasis on retaining good employees, an employee’s trust in his or her manager and Human Resources could be the deciding factor in whether an employee stays or moves on to one of your competitors.
But trust is not something that comes overnight. It is a slow process of give and take. So what do you need to do to make your employees trust you?
HR Magazine, a publication from the Society for Human Resource Management, suggests these five ways to help foster trust between management and employees:
- Translating corporate values into behaviors, and training all employees on those behaviors.
- Ensuring that leaders behave consistently with core values.
- Ensuring that leaders communicate in ways that support core values.
- Ensuring that employees feel they are involved in decisions.
- Measuring employee perceptions of their leaders’ integrity.
So since there are only five steps, is it an easy process to make employees trust you? Not at all, or at least managers aren’t trying all that hard. According to this 1997 article from the Seattle Times, only 35% of workers surveyed said that they trusted their senior management. One would think this number would have actually decreased significantly with the Enron-type scandals that littered the beginning of this decade, as well as with the increase in the number of companies that watch over what their employees are doing on a daily basis. However, Mercer Human Resources Consulting found in 2005 that 40% of employees trusted management, although the number who found distrust in senior management (the third option being neutral) was at a high 37%. Another survey by The Discovery Group found that 52% of employees simply distrust what they hear from management. This problem is not only an American problem. Mercer’s same study in the United Kingdom found that only 36% of employees trust senior managers.
The demise of the Enron Corporation and the feeling of distrust felt by employees (as well as investors, customers, bankers, investment analysts and stockholders, to name a few) highlights the need for trust in an organization. According to Monster.com: “Trust is something most of us take for granted in our work relationships. We have to -- it makes business possible. Without it, we'd be conducting cash-only commerce among entities no larger than what one person could supervise. But this trust cannot be taken for granted. We should make sure everyone knows just how central it is to business and personal success. And it starts at the top.”
In a webcast by LeadershipIQ, the problem of trust is spelled out even more as they describe what happens when employees don’t trust bosses. Things move painfully slowly, productivity isn’t as good, and 33% of employees’ decisions to stay or go depend on trust in management. If you want to retain star employees, the best place to start is to gain trust with these employees. If they don’t trust your management, they will find another company where they trust management more…and that company may be your competitor. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote “trust men, and they will be true to you; treat them greatly, and they will show themselves great.”
Leadership IQ suggests three characteristics that will allow employees to trust their management and feel they are being treated well: “Approachability, a tolerance for bad news, and actually responding constructively.” The Discovery Group has their share of advice as well:
- Start Trusting Employees - To end the cycle, management needs to show that it trusts employees. Eventually, employees will feel that they can reciprocate. This can be an extremely difficult and agonizingly long process. It's like lowering your weapons when you are being continually fired upon.
- Don't Withhold Information - Many senior managers communicate on a "need-to-know" basis. Information, such as future plans and financial results, is often withheld from employees for no good reason. Employees then feel that the information they eventually do receive has been intentionally sanitized or delayed.
- Be Honest at All Times - If employees feel they have been mislead or lied to, their trust will be lost, perhaps permanently.
- Conduct More Face-to-Face Communication - Employees find it very difficult to trust senior managers whom they never see. Management-by-walking-around is very important.
- Listen to Employees and Let them Know You've Heard Them - Employees become extremely distrustful when they feel their views or suggestions are not heard. Management needs to acknowledge employee suggestions by acting on them and letting employees know that they did so.
As seen in this research, the problem boils down to building bilateral trust and establishing good lines of communication. Abraham Lincoln said, “The people when rightly and fully trusted will return the trust.” The cycle needs to start with trusting the employees and allowing them to feel that trust. And this trust needs to be established throughout the entire process. HR Magazine writes that this even comes down to the implementation of the plan of trust as “senior leadership should trust HR to develop integrity-building strategies, and HR should have faith that management will execute them.” EntrepShare the article: