Rebuilding trust in the workplace

24 March 2011 / by Ashley Freeman

Funny how this issue of ‘trust’ never seems to go away. With every natural disaster or story of political unrest, comes some kind of finger pointing about how communication has suffered and trust in the authorities has been lost.

Following the financial meltdown, we did a chunk of research into how employees can rebuild trust with both internal and external stakeholders. That seemed to be an appropriate time to start exploring how to rebuild trust, but the issue seems just as pertinent today as it did then.

From our research, and building on that of others (such as Henley, HBR and Covey), the four common pillars that affect Trust are values that we would naturally expect as the foundation of relationships outside of the corporate world: Reliability, Capability, Honesty & Empathy. However, I would recommend that you define how you evaluate Trust in yourself, your board and other senior colleagues. If Reliability, Capability, Honesty and Empathy are the key pillars of Trust, how do you score? You need your own standards and honest measures.

Some of the research data may be slightly dated (2009) now, but the key messages still apply in our report into Trust. Take a look.

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