Trust me – I’m your employer
Trust is like a house – it takes far longer to build than it takes to tear down. If you ever doubted that, you need only look at the recent General Election result.
It has been widely agreed that the Liberal Democrats suffered greatly because voters did not trust them to keep their promises any more. Having said they would not raise tuition fees, once in coalition, they swiftly changed their minds. Trust, once broken is so much more difficult to rebuild.
We have all made promises we wished we hadn’t. Maybe it was to complete work by a certain date, to go to an event or even just to drive on a night out when you could have got a cab. Equally, we all know how annoying it is when someone doesn’t keep their promise.
In business, you might have promised someone a promotion, a pay rise or an exciting new project. For all sorts of reasons, you might not be able to deliver your promise. Maybe you no longer want to.
So do you ignore it and hope that they will forget? As voters clearly demonstrated, people don’t forget. Why should they? Your employee may not say anything to you but their trust in you will have been broken. You may have been able to achieve what you wanted to in the short term but at what cost to the future?
Circumstances change and if you are not able to deliver what you said you would, take the time to explain why to your employee. Ignoring it shows a lack of respect.
Mutual trust and confidence
All contracts of employment have an implied term that neither party will breach the duty of mutual trust and confidence between them, without good reason. You trust that the employee will not do anything to harm your business. They trust that you will be a good and fair employer.
If you breach this term, you could find yourself losing a valuable team member. You could also find yourself with a claim for constructive dismissal.
Secrets and lies
If someone approaches you in confidence, they are putting a huge amount of trust in you. As soon as you tell just one other person, you have lost control. Don’t be tempted to break a confidence without their permission or to embellish the truth. This is not a soap opera.
Listen carefully and explain why it is you need to share the information with others to get the matter resolved.
If you treat your employees as you would want to be treated, you are far more likely to win their respect and support.