Learn to Help Your Employees Rebuild Trust After a Break in Confidence

Kim Mays

How many times has a coworker done something that affected your level of trust in their abilities? And after, were you ever able to recreate that initial trust? In any relationship, work-related or personal, trust is imperative.

Trust means you feel comfortable delegating a task. Trust means your employees complete tasks without being constantly coached. Trust is a part of data and network security across the board.

In the world of technology, situations and processes change daily. For a business to succeed, all employees must rely on each other to get the job done. Occasionally, things happen to break confidence and expectations go unmet. In the book “Trust and Betrayal in the Workplace: Building Effective Relationships in Your Organization,” authors Dennis and Michelle Reina delve into workplace situations that can affect trust, including downsizing, restructuring and even just delegating duties.

According to the authors, any breach of trust on the job can damage the performance of employees. When expectations aren’t met on many levels, the results can completely erode confidence. This is why business leaders and managers must try to understand the importance of expectations from their own standpoint, but also from that of their employees. They must also commit to creating an environment where trust is built and sustained on a daily basis.

In our IT Downloads area, an excerpt from the book’s chapter 8, “How Trust Is Rebuilt: The Seven Steps for Healing,” is available. In this download, the authors discuss examples of “betrayal” on the job and how such a loss in confidence can seriously break down an employee’s performance. The section explains how such feelings can erupt, bringing pain and resentment and sometimes a want for revenge.

Betrayal and broken trust are often akin to death or loss. People must deal with the feelings and attempt to heal. The authors identify seven steps that move a person toward healing and regaining trust:

  1. Observe and acknowledge the act.
  2. Allow yourself to feel the emotions.
  3. Find others to support you during the hard time.
  4. Put the act into a different context.
  5. Take responsibility for your role in the act.
  6. Learn to forgive others—and yourself.
  7. Move beyond the episode and let go of negative feelings.

The excerpt breaks down each step into a section and explains the emotions associated and how it is important to experience the feelings. Moving through these steps will help workers accept disappointing situations and find ways to rebuild confidence with their managers or other coworkers.

Managers and company leaders should learn how to facilitate the healing process among their employees. Helping distraught workers to move through troubling situations and rebuild their trust with each other is an important step to building a successful company.



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