Trust in tumultuous times:
Stressed situations in organizations such as merger, reorganization, or layoff are situations where people look for something that can provide partial answer to the question: “What does this mean for me?” * Snatches of remembered conversations.
* Innocent statements can be assigned deep sinister meaning. – misinterpreted * Emails can be analyzed word by word
Don’t speculate about the future. Treat employees like grown-ups (so:) * In case of layoff, share the performance data that makes reductions necessary. * Be extremely careful about making unequivocal statements such as * I have no hidden agenda
* There won’t be any more layoffs
* The time we’ve got it fixed
* We will be stronger as a result
* I have total faith in the senior management team
* This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do
It will come back to haunt you.
All kinds of crisis like an episode of violence, accidents, and serious product flaws can have a profound impact on trust in the organization. Often the damage of the trust occurs not because of the incident itself but because of how it’s handled internally. Company leaders or crisis team members become so distracted by external pressures that they don’t address the crisis internally with attention. (dangerous, because employees feel unsafe during a crisis). * During crises it’s important to recover revenue, and moving the company out of the media spotlight. * But the employees can’t wait until the storm is over. The damage (of trust inside the company) may be beyond repair when you get to it. * Leadership is important (emloyees are under as much stress as the managers and need calm, visible leadership. When everyone worries, trust evaporates). * First lesson is to get yourself some help, a quick check in with an objective third party. (Or if you are directly affected by the crisis maybe you are not thinking...