Trust at work is important. You want to feel like your colleagues, your manager and frankly, your organization has your back.
One of the biggest chasms that Covid exposed was trust. When we all moved to home offices, we applauded our IT and HR services for setting up the infrastructure so quickly for us to work and be effective. And those are groups that we might not have expected to step up in such an important fashion. That was a good trust building outcome.
Where things fell down was managers who only trusted what they could see. If you were not on screen, were you really working? We heard stories about organizations that required employees to be on screen for every working hour. Wow.
There were cultures that embraced working anywhere and then there were others who mandated full time return to office for no reason other than the senior leadership team only knew how to work that way. They could not/would not adapt to working meeting on video or providing an approval that did not require a pen.
The lack of trust is a big contributor to the number of people who are looking at new opportunities. Three years ago, they were loyal employees who planned to stay until they got the gold watch. Now, they are actively interviewing and one of the intangibles they are trying to evaluate is trust.
But how do you do that effectively?
When you are meeting with a potential manager, you want to ask questions to reveal ego, flexibility, and humility.
Why has he/she been successful in the organization?
What does he/she see as next steps for themselves?
Where did they work through covid and how was it?
What’s the best thing about the team today?
When you meet with HR, you want to hear about employee experience and business alignment.
What challenges does the organization have recruiting people?
From and HR perspective, what does the company do better than their competitors?
What are the highlights of the onboarding program?
LinkedIn and Glass Door provide data about organizations, but you have to take it with a grain of salt. Generally speaking, people only put the time into comments on those sites if they have had an exceptionally good or exceptionally bad experience. It rarely represents a typical employee’s feeling.
The key to evaluating corporate trust is to ask questions that offer the interviewer the chance to share real insights and for the interviewee to listen carefully to their answers. Like any other job factors, compare and contract with your current situation and make a healthy decision.