It never ceases to amaze how large a role trust plays in an organization. We have written about it before in this blog yet it will never be enough. As we move our way through any discussion in business, most every catalyst for change is related to a lack of trust. That lack of trust is either implied by outside parties or earned buy those inside the organization. Who do you trust in your organization? Who don't you trust? For those you do not trust, hopefully you are already taking action. For those you do, maybe it is time you checked in and verified your perception.
Recently we did some work for a client with particular focus on improving performance significantly in an area of their business. As the client moved through the process, he came to find out that the "workers" (people on he "trusted" were simply not doing what they were supposed to be doing. That in itself would be troubling however even worse they were lying about what they were doing. The leader was taking the time and energy to follow-up with the employees, ask for updates, encourage changes and actions, etc. The problem was that the employees were flat out lying about what they had been doing. You can imagine the impact of this.
It brought into question, the performance of the employee.
It brought into question not only this one issue but every other issue that this employee said they had completed, accomplished or were "planning to do".
The lies impacted other departments.
It now requires a whole new layer of auditing to verify work has been done.
It drives you to re-validate if anyone else is lying to you as well.
No manager can spend all their time verifying and validating every move an employee makes. Yes, you need to measure and monitor. This goes without question. Yet you can't watch everyone. Some you have to trust more than others. Otherwise you spend all your time "watching" and never using your leadership to move people forward.
This recognition rocked this managers world. Not because they were unable to make decisions and change, they moved quickly here. What rocked their world was that it made them questions virtually every thing that had been said and reported to them. Was any of it true? Could they ever trust this employee again. It was like entering a different reality.
Do you trust your employees? Go back over them one by one. Yes, use your gut feel along with real and actionable data.
Have you gone back and re-checked even those you would say you trust and consider reputable employees?
If am employee has lied to you on one thing; odds are they will do it again or have in the past.
Most of our discussions have been built around having great employee relationships. When you build them your company will excel. One of the ways you build a great company is to verify on a consistent basis who is "rowing in the same direction you are". Maybe you already know or maybe you need to just re-check to make sure that you really can trust the people you think you can trust.