A lot has been said about customers’ loss of trust in banks, supermarkets and other large corporations but there is another aspect of trust that is essential for a business.
There is need for a mutual trust based on the relationship between staff and their employer, normally its directors as the key decision makers.
A good example is what happened at the onset of the global financial meltdown, when many businesses were able to survive only because their employees agreed to cuts in hours or pay.
Much of the employees’ motivation would, of course, have been based on a fear of unemployment or redundancy if they did not agree. The mutuality of the relationship would suggest some element of compensation for the sacrifice beyond simply retaining a job.
Furthermore if the relationship is abused such as by holding down wages when profits return, how will employees react when their fear of not getting another job is no longer keeping them?
Trust and loyalty are as important in times of growth as in times of crisis.
Business owners need to understand their staff and acknowledge those who made sacrifices; equally employees need to feel valued and be able to trust their employer.
While money can be one way of thanking staff for their sacrifice or ‘going the extra mile’ there are plenty of other ways from a staff party to holiday vouchers, hampers or simply improved facilities and fresh flowers in the office.
It would be great to hear some interesting examples of how employees have been rewarded for their loyalty.