5 Ways CEOs can Manage Trust Deficiency & Improve Productivity in the Workplace
Across all sectors and in every country, trust between colleagues, subordinates and peers are suffering tremendous heartbreaks. This is one aspect of humanity that has defied race, region or religion in the list of persons that have suffered one form of distrust or the other.
According to word web dictionary, “trust is having confidence or faith in one another”. It could be trust that exist between an employer and employee to do the right thing as established or agreed upon by both parties to be true or expected. It is said that when we trust someone, we have confidence in them and in their honesty and integrity. We believe that they will do the things they say they will do. We recognize their abilities and strengths, and we place our faith in them.
However, trust can easily be broken, misrepresented or disregarded in the course of normal life engagements. While Ernest Hemingway suggested that the best way to find out if you can trust somebody is trust them, William Shakespeare believes that we should not trust the person who has broken faith once.
Interestingly, it is projected in a Gallup polling that an average worker spends about one third of his/her lifetime in the workplace, possibly with not more than one or two employer. The challenge therefore for businesses is how can they trust someone, and keep trusting someone that might have broken faith once.
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This article gleaned from responses from CEOs on the topic of handling trust deficiency in business during the maiden CEO’ Gconnect Forum held at the prestigious Ibeto hotels in Abuja is to provide CEOs with insights on how they can limit the crisis of trust in their workplace and improve productivity.
- Ensure a proper employee selection process: as a CEO or founder of a business, sometimes we are tempted in becoming the saviour of our family and friends race by employing every one of them that is available into every and any vacant position in our business. While we will not advise against employing your friends and family members in your business, we will strongly recommend that you ensure that only those that are qualified are employed. Most importantly, you must endeavour to ensure that while employing to fill any vacant position in your business, you must ensure that an extant recruitment process is in place and that everyone to be employed is subjected to that process. A good and concise human resource/recruitment policy will be a good place to start.
- Set a formidable structure: most times, businesses fail to put in place organizational structure that their business can lean on. It is usually said that if you want to play in the big league, you should learn to practice playing in the big league. This means that, you should begin to apply certain principles that big league players apply. In this case, your business is expected to establish basic structure in your business beginning with the departmentalization of your company. These departments will enable your business to assign leadership roles to individuals and enable you to hold persons accountable for tasks and assignments. It will also support your ability to instil check and balances in the conduct of your operations.
- Put a good control system in place: just as the above mentioned structure will help you to instil check and balances, it is not enough to put in place a good control measure. From much that we know, employees will always make attempts at subverting the process in place. Therefore, you should move from just setting up a structure to providing your employees with a good finance, production, marketing and supply chain policies whereby specific responsibility that can aid in checkmating the other will be explained and detailed.
- Introduce a good reward system: You don’t climb mountains without a team, you don’t climb mountains without being fit, you don’t climb mountains without being prepared and you don’t climb mountains without balancing the risks and rewards. And you never climb a mountain on accident – it has to be intentional (Mark Udall). Employees who have the expectation of a reward will be intentional in working harder, and in protecting the interest of the company better.
- Give time to your business and Verify all information: this cannot be overemphasised. One of the areas where most distrusts or acts of cheating occurred based on the response from the CEOs are situations where the CEOs does not spend much time in the business. This will support the agelong quote by one of the foremost U.S President, Ronald Reagan, Trust but verify. Spending time in your business will allow you to verify details and make informed decisions.
Ossai ilome is lead faculty at Labour Business School, Veritas University and member, CEO’ GConnect Forum.