Trust is a vital component in the success of an organization. A study by Deloitte covering over 100 mid-sized firms in both US and the UK revealed that 90% of employees who left their job cited breach of trust as the main reason. Similarly, 65% of the American workforce employed are actively job hunting for their next position according to Forbes. Trust is needed in every aspect of performance in an organization and affects many aspects ranging from increased productivity, efficient management, job satisfaction, employee engagement and staff development. However, when there is organizational change trust becomes the most important aspect of a company to ensure the change succeeds.
Significance of trust in organizational change
Prior to initiating change in your organization, think of three critical issues related to trust:
- The cost associated with low trust
- Tangible benefits associated with a high level of trust
- How to effectively build trust in the organization
Organizational change is successful when stakeholders support and implement the change – actually change their behavior to demonstrate they accept it. Employees resist change when they feel that their best interests are not considered in the process of implementation. For instance, if you are adopting a new technology, employees are likely to resist if they feel the new technology will render them jobless. Hence, it is critical to get employees on board as the first step toward initiating change. Change introduces uncertainty, which lowers trust and increases resistance. Having a culture of trust to begin the change provides an advantage.
Trust offers leverage to the main drivers of change like creativity, teamwork, cooperation, quality leadership, conflict resolution and management and empowerment.
How to manage trust during organizational change
Change will happen for any business to be successful. Trust is key to the success of change but must be managed as an economic factor to the business. At Seity Insight, we work with organizations that have major change initiatives and focus on managing trust during the process.
How do you achieve this?
Put employee’s interest first. Invite them into the process sooner than later. Use open and proactive communication as much as possible and include their ideas and comments to reduce resistance and understand where there might be the most pushback. Involving employees creates a sense of ownership in the process to reduce trust issues.
The communication channel is key. As an effective change leader, understanding key influential members of your team and how they can help you introduce change is important. Thes are the ‘culture carriers’ of the organization and often exist outside the formal structures. Find them through the non-formal structures in your organization to understand knowledge sharing and information flow. Social media is an emerging trend in non-formal structures, how well do you interact with your team using social media?
Build trust by:
- Closing the gap between executives and staff
- Improving communication
- Being honest, respectful and credible
- Recognizing and rewarding staff for achievements
- Being fair and just
- Incorporating a sense of belonging, security and purpose in organization goals
- Practice accountability and transparency
A high trust culture is required to realize growth and stability. With organizational change as a constant, managing trust during change is important to realize the benefits of change without causing mistrust by employees. Leaders should consider managing trust as part of the goals of any major change in the organization.
Related Post: Transform your company with Organizational Network Analysis
Resource: Contact Seity for a free consultation to learn how we can help you build trust in your organization