In creating an environment of trust, it must be modeled by leadership through honesty, authenticity, and empathy. While informal leaders may have influence, research shows that motivation for learning and following social norms is greater from senior leadership than HR or other managers.
For the past three years, we have been living with chronic anxiety and a heightened threat response as we have had to be hypervigilant and sensitive to the people and places in our environment.
Wars, violence, and an endless loop of rising inflation, weakened economies, and supply chain blockages and shortages have many of us waiting for the next shoe to drop.
In times of crisis, humans tend to focus on the common and the familiar as an antidote to uncertainty. In the workplace, this means those who are more like us, speak more like us, or have similar experiences. While it may be comforting to our brain processes, it is not what is best for teams or organizations.
Collective knowledge is enhanced by diverse opinions. Research has shown that greater creativity and innovation for problem-solving occurs with members from a wide variety of backgrounds. Being inclusive embraces this and allows employees to feel safe to speak up.
Inclusivity means acceptance for the whole employee; this includes human needs, concerns, and emotions. Grief does not have a time limit. Expecting an employee to pretend that they have not suffered a great loss weakens the strength of a team and individual resources over time.
Commitment and alignment between values, words, and actions the actions the company and management take builds integrity and credibility. If there is a disconnect, it weakens trust and can increase turnover.
Acknowledging emotions builds trust over time with consistent behaviors filled with emotional intelligence and compassion. Emotional acknowledgement significantly influences interpersonal trust and can strengthen the social relationships at work.
The power of those relationships and the level of communication may keep an employee more committed to an organization and loyal wherever work is conducted in the future.