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How to Regain Employee Trust
Cultivating an environment of trust and caring may sound fluffy, but it can actually lead to greater engagement and performance.
Perhaps the biggest loss from the recent economic crisis was that of trust in business leadership. Publicly, the leaders of the country’s largest banks were cast as criminals. Inside many corporations, employee engagement levels decreased as layoffs wreaked havoc on morale, and trust in managers sank to all-time lows. Some employee angst remains.According to a recent poll by Maritz Research, an employee satisfaction firm, just 10 percent of employees trust managers to make the right decision in times of uncertainty. What’s more, only 12 percent of employees in the poll said they believe their manager genuinely listens to and cares about them.All is not lost, however. According to George Kohlrieser, a professor of leadership at business school IMD in Switzerland, there is a leadership model fit to promote and reignite trust in business.His book, Care to Dare: Unleashing Astonishing Potential Through Secure Base Leadership, aims to steer leaders to become a “secure base” for their employees so they feel more engaged and comfortable to stretch their limits in their work.“A secure base leader is someone who creates the environment of trust [where] that fundamental interest, that fundamental caring, transparency and honesty creates the possibility of the [employee] then to take risk, to push their edge of talent development, to do what needs to be done outside the box and explore [to] their potential,” Kohlrieser said.The human brain is hard-wired for survival, which means that employees tend to sway toward what’s safe. Like many organizations, this survival instinct has had employees — and the organizations they work for — playing not to lose instead of playing to win, he said.Secure base leadership seeks to provide employees with a sense of safety to take risk, so they feel like they’re working in an environment where it’s OK to make mistakes, stretch limits and take control of their own professional learning and development, according to Kohlrieser.Such emphasis on personal trust and humanity that the model is built on has grown even more vital as innovation and collaboration in firms have become valuable building blocks to success, said Rose Gailey, a consultant with Chicago-based leadership development firm Gagen MacDonald.
The Next Generation of HR: What’s Wrong? What’s Right?
May 23rd 1:00pm - 2:00pm CT
2013 CLO Breakfast Club, Boston
September 12th - 12th, 2013The Westin Copley Place
Fall 2013 CLO Symposium
September 30th - October 2nd, 2013Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa
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