Your favorite pair of slacks were lost by the dry cleaners. The computer tech didn’t return your call. Hours passed without warning. And the drive-thru gave you root beer rather than diet coke. We all experience trust breaches every day as consumers, but we often don’t realize the impact they have on our workdays. Take a look at trust levels to see what happens when communication and morale are low. Communication is easier when trust levels and communication are high. Conversely, communication will fail if trust levels are low.
Communication is impossible without trust. Trust is built on past experiences, information and history. These are five trust-busters that can be cracked and the solutions that will restore trust to increase morale.
Trustbuster #1 Inconsistency
Inconsistency can manifest in many ways, including policies and procedures. Some of these might be difficult to manage, but it also shows up when we behave in difficult times. These behaviors and mood swings include irritability, unapproachability, and irritability. One manager at a distribution facility had a bad habit of talking in a rude tone and then hanging up on sick employees. This made him unapproachable and lacked personal control. Although it is not appropriate to expect you to be a Pollyanna when your employees are unhappy, it is important that you set the standard as a leader. William Penn stated that no man can command another without being able to do so.
There are two main types of managerial challenges that you will face: the emergency situation that must be dealt with immediately and other issues such as employee complaints or disciplinary problems. It is crucial to have a plan in place for emergencies and other unexpected crises. As Phil McGraw would say: Make a conscious decision about how you will respond or react to emergencies. You might use a statement to show you are in control, such as “hold on–let’s think for a minute” or “Let me figure this out Take deep breaths, count to ten, and then you can process it without worrying about blaming, exploding, or losing energy.
The solution for non-emergency situations is easy: Establish boundaries and a time frame to resolve disputes. This will make you conscious of your commitment to being consistent and in control. Sometimes, the issue is more important than the employee. You can schedule the appointment if the issue is of importance to you. You can tell the employee who is unhappy to come to your office before the end the shift to set up the appointment if the issue is more important than you think. Do not say that you have an “open door policy” and then act cranky or unreliable when you are interrupted. Be realistic. Instead of trying to convince workers that the dream is possible, set some guidelines. This allows you to decide what is important, and empowers your employees to address the issues that matter to you.
Trustbuster #2 Broken Promises
It’s as simple as it sounds, but don’t make promises that you won’t keep. This is where mistakes can be made subtly. “I’m on you side” or “I will support you every step of the way” are two examples. Miriam was finishing her master’s degree and wanted to climb up the ranks in a company with little potential. Miriam was pleased to discover that her business unit manager agreed to help her reach her goals after she spoke with him. Miriam requested a leave to finish her degree. (After all, he was open to anything. She went through all the necessary channels, and ultimately the decision was made by the business unit manager. The business unit manager was not forthcoming with the final decision, leaving employees wondering who is in charge. Don’t make promises you don’t have the power or make statements that could put you in a difficult position with your colleagues. You will regret it.
Trustbuster #3: Poor Follow-Through
Poor follow-through can be a sign of broken promises. It is more subtle and accepted by almost everyone in society, but it is less obvious. Statements such as “I’ll get back to you” or “I will let you know as soon I learn.” are examples of the precursor. It doesn’t seem so important to the promise-maker, while the other person waits patiently to hear the information that is most likely forgotten. Meetings are an example of someone promising to get back to them or to get information to a group as quickly as possible. Have you ever heard, “Good question, and although I don’t know the answer, I’ll get it to you before my next meeting?”
Keep in mind that when you say “I’ll get back with you”, you are making a promise that you will follow through. Keep that in mind and write it down. You can also give the action item to another person to follow up on. However, you still need to ensure that the information is being distributed. This means that you must still write it down and attach a follow-up date. Create an action item and attach a date in a formal meeting. You won’t likely say it as often if you know that you must be accountable.
Trustbuster #4 Unnecessary, Unexplained Surprises
We believe that a green traffic light means that we are free to move. So we act on that trust and continue through traffic. What would happen if the lights were changed to white, purple and blue without any explanation? It was exactly what it felt like when workers at a remanufacturing facility were given the option to vote for new hours. Employees were given the choice of working 12 hours a day and Fridays off without overtime. Guess what? They now work twelve hours plus Fridays. Their opinions weren’t important, or at least that’s what they perceived. So what’s the solution? The first thing to do is not ask for opinions that don’t matter. Second, and this must come from the top: Do things on a trial basis and explain that you will take their feedback into account at a specific date. You can admit your mistakes and ask for help to fix them.
Trustbuster #5 Narrow Vision
It’s easy to see the mistakes of others, but not yours. The world of narrow vision is here. Here’s a real example: Valerie was summoned to her supervisor’s office by other employees complaining about her work. Valerie’s supervisor made the error of telling her that other employees were complaining about her work. She also said that Valerie was an instigator and troublemaker. Valerie lost all sense of belonging in her department and her self-esteem. The supervisor discovered that Valerie had transferred from a different department and had more experience and seniority than the other workers. They felt threatened because it meant that at least two workers would be transferred out of the department, and that Valerie could be promoted. What is the solution? Before jumping to conclusions, investigate and observe. Take a look at the entire situation and consider what has changed. What are your perceptions? If you have to resort to discipline, it is better to observe the situation and not rely on what others have to say. Telling an employee that other employees are complaining about their performance is a way to pit them against one another and create a drama triangle with yourself in the middle.
What can you do when an employee complains about a coworker? Listen, but don’t let your emotions or judgments get in the way. Instead of accepting what they have to say, ask questions. Ask them about the measures MallsMarket they took to manage the situation without external help. Ask them what they would like you to do. This will help you determine if they are just ranting or really need intervention. As much as possible, let them set their own boundaries in order to manage the situation. A meeting with secret ballots is another way to find out the truth. This allows associates to voice their opinions anonymously. Then, hold a meeting and report the information to you. It’s not as difficult as you might think for employees to master the art and skill of playing games. Don’t allow it to happen in your court. Encourage open and responsible communication, discourage tattle-tailing, and encourage it.
It is human nature to seek pleasure and move away from pain. It’s painful to live in relationships or environments that lack trust, both in professional and personal life. One way to increase communication and morale is to create trust.