When there is no trust, four crucial and potentially negative consequences likely to occur at the workplace are:

1. Lack of efficiency.

Employees will not work efficiently: they will be reluctant to make decisions given the lack of trust in, and a backing by management, and will look to seek approval for everything. Thus not only will they be ineffective employees, but will also create an unreasonable and ineffective workload for their managers.

2.Poor or Lack of engagement.

Employees will be either not engaged or completely disengaged. They will not be willing to go the “extra mile”  if they are not sure if others will back them up. They will put time but not energy, they will leave the organization if given a chance.

3. Poor communication.

Employees will be afraid to share bad news, so problems will grow instead of being addressed quickly. The workplace will go from dealing proactively with problems to dealing with emergencies. Employees will be less likely to offer their thoughts for new products or processes if they believe that leaders will not support them or will take credit for their ideas, and leaders will miss important ideas for resolving issues, improving processes, growing sales or dealing with an important client.

4. Conflict avoidance.

Employees will avoid conflict or (disagreement) at all cost. Avoiding conflicts will be perceived as a matter of survival. People learn very quickly that it is better not to talk about certain topics if they do not want to be perceived as rocking the boat, causing trouble, not being “a team player”, or a threat. Being vulnerable is not an option.

Therefore, open and frank discussions will not occur during important meetings given the lack of trust in management or the team. The working environment and relationships will become cynical.

Lack of trust at the workplace basically means lack of leadership and lack of teamwork; it encompasses poor relationships, low morale, and ultimately low productivity, leading to delayed or failures to complete projects, lost sales, missed performance goals, in other words, an unsustainable business.

Trust does not develop by mandate. It requires the willingness to be vulnerable and to have positive expectations about the other’s intentions or behavior.

Build Trust: let the people and business grow. Let us know if we can help you. (alerceconsulting.com)

(Adapted from Dori Meinert, SHRM)

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