Lose 10 pounds … cut back on caffeine … learn a new language … get a new job. With the lifting of the recession and the ringing in of the new year, many employees are taking a long, hard look at their careers and planning their exit strategy. And a big reason for their departure may surprise you: lack of trust.
According to Deloitte LLP’s fourth annual Ethics & Workplace Survey, one-third of the nation’s employees will renew their job search as the economy revives. Approximately 48 percent of the respondents cite a loss of trust in their employers as a motivator for seeking a new job. At the same time, 46 percent blame a lack of transparent communication from their company’s leadership as a reason for looking elsewhere.
What’s going on here? And more important, what can management do to regain employee trust and pull back the curtain on the major decisions affecting the workplace?
While you can’t eliminate the economic uncertainties that linger even in the new year, you can invest in the mental well-being of your employees. Here are some steps in the right direction:
1. Create a clear sense of purpose. When budgets get cut and staffs downsized, employees often wonder when a pink slip is coming their way. Managers can allay fears by meeting with employees after a layoff or restructuring to revisit corporate and departmental goals. Remaining employees must understand they are critical to the ongoing success and profitability of your company. Meet regularly to share revised goals and expectations. Clearly define roles and responsibilities. And most of all, let employees know that “we’re all in this together.” Getting through challenging times is easier when everyone is working toward a common objective.
2. Get employees involved in what’s next. Once employees understand they are important to the ongoing viability of your company, encourage them to uncover and share ways to improve efficiency – to find a better way. If employees believe their ideas will be heard and implemented, they are more likely to go above and beyond. Attaching rewards to great ideas and sharing them corporate wide also cultivates an environment of value and security.
3. Dole out “thank yous” and compliments. When raises aren’t possible in tough economic times, it is imperative that leaders and managers increase their efforts to bestow positive praise on a regular basis. Heartfelt words of recognition and encouragement have a way of immediately lifting spirits. Look for ways to call out a job well done, whether it’s submitting an error-free report, staying on task with a high-profile project or working well with others on a team initiative. For most employees, being valued and praised for their hard work is just as important as a paycheck.
Through thick and thin, it’s the people who matter most
Why it’s just as important to dole out the praise as it is the pay