During an uncertain time like the coronavirus pandemic, transparency in business decisions can build trust with your employees that last well after the crisis is over. Trust is the cornerstone of working relationships between employees and employers. And it’s crucial to success.
It’s clear that engagement, inclusion and well-being are elevated when organizations support and care for their employees. Trust includes reciprocal expectations of dependability, integrity, support, respect and ultimately care between people — including an organization and employee. However, it takes effort on everyone’s part to build trust over time.
What transparency in business can look like now
Here are ways to provide transparency in business now.
1. Address employees directly whenever possible
Depending on the size of your organization and the teams that encompass it, this may or may not be a simple task. But it’s worth it. Getting the right message to the right people at the right time is crucial. We also know that keeping employees informed through consistent communication on any changes or news that affects their work is key, especially during a crisis.
Instead of focusing on mass emails or communications, encourage managers to reach out to teams directly. Keeping those direct relationships intact and conveying the exact reasons and numbers behind the decision and what the future may look like for the particular employee or company can go far. The pandemic will come to an end and the trust your employees have in your organization is still important when that time comes.
2. Ask employees how they would like to be supported
One of the best and most direct ways to support employees during a crisis is to ask them. Every person’s situation and need can be different. It’s best to let them tell you what would make them as an individual feel cared for.
Make sure that the lines of communication are clear and easy to access. With a huge increase in remote work, it’s imperative to double-check that anyone who reports to you has an easy way to get in touch during working hours. Not everyone needs the same support or responds the same way to outreach. A good culture of trust and mutual respect among employees and management can go a long way when times are tough.
3. Make sure to highlight positives
The news and general sentiment can be grim during times of uncertainty. Seeking out stories of anyone in your organization — or even the world — who is going the extra mile to help people in their community can be a breath of fresh air and reason to spread positivity. Continuing to support your employees even when you are not there in person is invaluable to making them feel connected to the work and the company.
Even beyond these suggestions, it’s important to remain agile and flexible with your employees as things are changing so rapidly. How an organization responds to crisis will be remembered longer than how they respond to good times, and being as transparent as you can with employees will build trust for years to come.