Every organization wants committed employees and loyal customers. How do you make these goals a reality?
According to extensive research, the single greatest factor in creating dedicated employees and enthused customers is the issue of trust. Levels of trust in an organization are determined primarily by the way employees feel about leaders and secondarily by how they feel about one another.
High levels of trust translate into great customer service.
This workshop is designed to help leaders recognize the three most common trust-breaking behaviors that can generate a sense of distrust among employees and the three corresponding trust-building behaviors that lead to high employee engagement and award-winning service. In addition to understanding the business case, learning key behaviors, and assessing organizational practices, each participant does individual action planning designed to eliminate unhealthy behavior patterns. The end result is employees who “walk the talk.”
- Americans are less trusting than in the past.
- Americans distrust those in power.
- Americans distrust Big Business.
- Leaders frequently fail to take responsibility for their actions.
Gray areas that demonstrate inconsistency:
- Breaking promises
- Covering mistakes
- Withholding information
- Minimizing problems
- Being disingenuous
- Having double standards
Participants are asked to have a lengthy discussion about someone that they trust and why. This is followed up with their assessment of trust levels within the organization and on their teams. At this point, we facilitate an in-depth discussion about the relationship between trust and employee engagement levels.
- Ambiguity or double-talk
- Skirting the issue
- Cherry picking
- Non-denial denial
We help foster discussion of whether or not the corporate culture is perceived as one where leaders speak openly, honestly, sincerely, forthrightly, and unambiguously. Afterwards, participants are asked to engage in a brainstorming session to formulate strategies that would support the practice of straightforward communication between leaders and employees.
Participants are asked to have a candid dialogue comparing the core values of the organization with employee perceptions of leadership practices (reference internal surveys and focus group data if available). They are also asked to give specific examples of tangible actions they have engaged in that demonstrate their commitment to the employees on their team.
- High-tech/low-touch environment
- Warp-speed pace
- Excessive workload
- Time pressures
- Constant change of personnel
- Increasing diversity
We facilitate group discussion of this question: What are some things that you do or don’t do that might be interpreted by your team members as indifference?
There are two types of “lax leaders”: those that won’t confront the mistakes of others, and those that won’t admit their own mistakes. There is always negative fallout when a leader fails to confront a problem employee:
- Makes other employees think they can get away with things (domino effect)
- Forces top performers to pick up the slack
- Hinders team or organizational goal achievement
- Damages morale and performance
- Creates an unsafe environment
- Makes leadership look weak
- Leads to negativity, bad attitudes, rumor mills, passive aggressive behavior, and attrition
Group discussion: What are some bad habits that are tolerated in the organization? Why are leaders reluctant to confront these problems?
- Establish clear expectations
- Observe performance
- Give frequent feedback
- Confront non-performance by highlighting objective and specific behaviors
- Create a joint action plan
- Set a timetable for compliance
- Apply negative consequences or positive reinforcement
Participants are asked to honestly discuss the step (or steps) that are most challenging for them; and the step (or steps) that they excel at.
The second aspect of accountability is how to handle failures:
- Admit mistakes quickly
- Take full responsibility for everything (don’t rationalize, justify, or blame)
- Acknowledge that you have learned valuable lessons
- Make changes to safeguard repeating the same mistake in the future
Small group discussion:”When was the last time you apologized or owned a mistake? How did you handle it? How was it received?” We distribute action planning worksheets and attendees are asked to list specific behaviors they intend to STOP engaging in that could be perceived as examples of inconsistency, indifference, and laxity, as well as behaviors they intend to START engaging in that will be demonstrations of integrity, caring, and accountability.