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Even when the leader can’t fix all the problems, the employee feels
“respected as an individual.”
Communication and openness from leadership does not have
to be a huge undertaking, either.
“I have found that just stopping into people’s offices to ask
how everything’s going, showing a personal interest and listening
without an agenda is a really powerful affirmation,” said Peterson.
“Access to management is a perk.”
REBUILDING SOMETHING BROKEN
Once lost, can trust be rebuilt? Absolutely, says Tolovi-Neto.
“If workplaces are usually good, but something bad has happened,
they can draw from the ‘trust reservoir,’” he said. However,
when trust has sunk extremely low (or was never there to begin
with), building it up requires involvement from senior leadership.
How can the HR function champion trust building with senior
management in their organization?
“We do very pragmatic HR; we take what is labelled as soft and
fluffy and turn it into tangible tools,” said Barrett. “When we give
them the language and the framework, I find that most leaders
can immediately wrap their head around it and start doing it: for
example, scheduling the weekly reminder to phone your remote
team and say ‘Have a great weekend.’”
“There are two kinds of language: business language and
people language. Business people have to know how to talk the
people language and vice versa. In the past, this was an initiative
that HR professionals would carry, but we have more
and more business professionals and CEOs who understand
this connection,” said Tolovi-Neto. “But if the CEO doesn’t
think this is something they should prioritize, when they get
confronted with the business statistics, they realize it’s not
something they can afford to ignore.” ■
Moving with Care Everywhere
HRPATODAY.CA ❚ SEPTEMBER 2016 ❚ 31