Employees’ trust in their employers has hit a new low. According to a recent study, business trust levels are at the lowest point since 2009. Only 23 percent of employees feel that their organization’s leaders exhibit consistency, predictability, and transparency, a number that reflects a downward slide from about 40 percent in 2009.
What else does the study show?
- There is a strong correlation between positive business results and leaders who are highly rated by their employees.
- High-performing companies tend to be led by executives who focus on involving employees in business decision making and on allowing employees to share in the responsibility of the success of their company.
- Employees at such companies showed a 12 percent increase in the number of employees who could see how their jobs contribute to business objectives. Fourteen percent more employees said they had high trust in management, and 15 percent more saw their leaders as effective.
“Trust is at rock bottom, but if leaders want to drive trust levels higher, we say: focus on openness, transparency, and involving employees,” said Linda Stewart, CEO of Interaction Associates, the creators of the study. “Shared responsibility for success is a key characteristic of high trust organizations – meaning employees are committed to a common goal and are eager to collaborate to make it happen.”
So, high-performing companies are much more successful at building trust and retaining vital employees than low-performing companies. How do supply chain companies rate? How can employers improve their leadership transparency and involve people in decision-making?
Start with policy and planning
Create a communication policy that connects your organization’s business mission and objectives with the what, why and how of communication. It could be as simple as your company’s own version of the Golden Rule: to treat others–employees, customers, partners, suppliers–as you would want to be treated. And people need to see that you will be consistent, that you will always perform according to this credo, that you’re doing the right things for the right reasons and thinking about what’s best for all.
Your employees especially have to trust that you’ll do what you say. That goes a long way toward strengthening their relationships with your company. Jill Nash, former vice president of corporate communication for Gap Inc., sums it up this way: “Trust is the foundation on which strong relationships are built. A company is nothing more than a series of relationships.”
How do you feel about employer-employee relations in the supply chain industry? Would you like to work for a high-performing supply chain company? Contact the supply chain recruiting professionals at ZDA today!