How Managers Can Build Trust Amidst Uncertainty
Leadership changes, mergers, layoffs and other disruptive events bring big changes to the workplace, but they also bring big opportunities. And while it’s true that people need time to adapt to changes in the workplace, research has shown that when leaders take the time to build high-trust relationships with employees, it enables employees to embrace changes faster.
In fact, if a disruptive event has created a culture of uncertainty, making an effort to build trust during this time is one of the smartest strategies you can implement.
Now Is Always a Good Time.
The problem with change is that it brings a level of uncertainty, and uncertainty creates a perfect atmosphere for fear, rumors and negativity. The good news is that there is an antidote to fear and its byproducts: Trust. Since change is inevitable and disruptive events will always occur, it’s wise to plan ahead by implementing practices today that build trust, pride and camaraderie. Even if you are in the midst of a major disruptive event, you can help restore calm and dismantle the power of fear by engaging employees in trust-building activities.
What Do Employees Need During Change?
Managers can reduce stress on employees during times of change by:
- Creating a sense of community by promoting the idea that everyone is facing change together.
- Ensuring employees are prepared to adapt by supplying them with all information available
- Outlining next steps, so employees can maintain purpose and direction
- Continuing to promote a sense of safety and support throughout the process
The best companies know their strengths and build on them in response to disruptive events. The next time a disruptive event occurs, begin by examining what your people do best and how those advantages can be applied to the current circumstances. When you focus on strengths, it enables everyone in the organization to find their footing faster and manage change with less fear and more trust in their company, coworkers and abilities.
Download the No Excuses! Whitepaper to learn more about how any manager can overcome the most common challenges to building a great workplace.
Jennifer Robin, Ph.D., is a Research Fellow, former Senior Consultant with Great Place to Work® Institute, and co-author of No Excuses: How You Can Turn Any Workplace Into a Great One and The Great Workplace: How to Build It, hHow to Keep It, and Why It Matters.