During change and restructure it’s not unusual for trust to be broken between staff, the management team and even your customers. But how do you start to win it back to protect your employment brand and reputation?

There’s no question that it takes time, but there are a few key things you can do to speed up the process of restoring trust.

1. Acknowledge that trust has been broken

When trust breaks down, communication normally breaks down with it. That’s why the first step in restoring trust is bringing everything out into the open, and that means having the difficult conversations that you naturally want to avoid.

The first part of the conversation needs to be acknowledging that trust has been broken and taking personal responsibility for your part in the trust breakdown. This will start to create a culture of transparency – and transparency builds trust.

2. State your intention to re-establish trust 

Make it clear that you want to re-establish trust and do what it takes to build confidence again. But don’t make the mistake of only talking about it, you need to follow through in your actions.

If you’re unsure about where to start – ask! Enlist the help and input of the people you need to restore trust with and get them to identify the steps that need to be taken to restore confidence. Provided the requests are fair and reasonable establish a plan to put them into action.

3. Listen with empathy

When they are expressing their thoughts, ideas and feelings it’s important to listen with empathy and acknowledge what they are saying. Even if their views conflict with yours, it doesn’t mean they aren’t true, right or valid.

Providing an opportunity for people to feel heard without interruption and voice their concerns and opinions can go a long way in restoring mutual respect and trust. While it can be hard to hear what they have to say, it’s an important step in getting closure on the events that lead to trust breaking down.

4. Find common ground to move forward

Once everyone has had the opportunity to be heard, it’s time to take a more positive approach to the conversation to move forward. This starts by finding common ground and establishing common goals.

In the event of organisational change and restructure it starts with revisiting or re-establishing the vision of the company and getting to the heart of why you exist. People want purpose and to feel valued, it brings a sense of security through change, and it can help to restore passion and enthusiasm in the workplace.

Ask questions, get feedback and come up with a list of actions and behaviours that will not only help to restore the broken trust but also drive the organisation forward.

Need to restore breakdowns in trust? Call the transition experts, Turning Point Partners today on 1300 27 83 45.

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