Managers Can Rebuild Trust

Thursday, December 30th, 2010


This snippet must be a portion of a longer article I was working on. It is a list of things that can help you regain trust.


by Rick Maurer

Managers can rebuild trust by:

  1. Determining the real reasons why trust has diminished. Is it a problem in your industry? Something that happened in your company such as layoffs? Or is it personal; they don’t trust you? Don’t rush out and create a new program or incentive scheme until you know the nature of the problem.
  2. Determining what the implications of lower trust are. What is missing as a result? Does customer service or quality suffer? Is loyalty lower?
  3. Now you’ve got the data you need to begin to address the problem. Be wary of window-dressing solutions. Don’t try to pump people up or paint over the problems. You’ll just waste your money and will risk adding to the cynicism. The only way to rebuild trust is to focus on the level of trust you want and confront the real reasons why there is a gap between what you want and what you’ve got. Trust is hard to build and easy to destroy, so you must be patient. Set long-term goals. Don’t expect a single meeting or some grand event to turn things around. This situation is similar to a marriage in which one partner had an affair. It takes a long time to rebuild trust in the other person. In fact, they may never regain the level of trust they enjoyed prior to the affair.


© 2009 Rick Maurer. Rick uses his Change without Migraine™ to advise organizations on how to lead change effectively. He is author of many books including Beyond the Wall of Resistance. Recently, he created the Change Management Open Source Project, a free resource for people interested in change in organizations.