The life blood of any Company are its employees and their ability to analyse, innovate, criticise and create. Individual employees, as a collective, generate company loyalty. A common mistake that some companies make is demanding loyalty and prescribing what it looks like. By doing this they often suppress independent thinking and its associated creativity and innovation.
The impact of this approach, can lead to employees being unable or unwilling to challenge with confidence. If and when they do, they often get penalised or often decide to leave. In the process great new ideas may get missed, continuous improvement levels are held back and business growth potentially slowed.
The corollary, where employees are supported in a creative environment and their suggestions and inputs are encouraged and listened to, employees stay loyal and engaged. This happens naturally as they feel valued and their contribution recognised.
The following simple 4 point model or plan will help managers build better and stronger trust relationships.
1) Develop and clearly communicate company policy, procedures, expectations and culture.
2) Articulate how such company policy and culture is expected to be evidenced in employee actions & behaviours.
3) Clearly define employee roles, responsibilities and what criteria are used to measure performance.
4) Avoid making promises that are unlikely to be kept, and ensure that all dialogue is conducted in an environment of openness, honesty and transparency.
Concerted management effort into these 4 steps/stages will, I believe, pay dividends and will promote and engrain, for the better, a more positive inclusive and trusted work environment.