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"Trust is earned, not given"

Trust & Loyalty, Loyalty & Trust.

Where are these two things today?

When the economy got bad and layoffs started becoming more and more frequent, people began trusting their bosses about as much as they would trust being locked in a room with a sleeping bear, about to wake up and pounce without much notice. It’s understandable that when companies start doing bad, the effects are felt everywhere from the top of the employment chain all the way to the bottom. With these cuts, layoffs because a fear looming over employees heads. The people who held jobs would be thankful to have survived the day as they left their office for the night.

Maybe I’m being a little over dramatic, but the point is that a lot of people were terrified. The people that they have come to known as respectable bosses were suddenly becoming the enemy. They lost faith in their superiors. The morale of almost every industry drastically decreased. When you lose that faith and trust in your employer, your loyalty to them also goes out the window.

Now, businesses must take on the responsibility of earning back that trust. There was a time when people loved going to work, they felt secure there. They felt that if they worked hard and completed the tasks at hand, that they would be allowed to keep their jobs. We need to get back to that.

I read an article by a man named Roger Hall called “Bring Trust and Loyalty Back to the Workplace” and he made some very good suggestions that I would like to share with all of you:

1. Schedule ‘face time’ with every employee

2. Choose appropriate communication channels

3. Over acknowledge and praise often

4. Be honest

5. Walk the Talk

I can’t help but be reminded of when I was younger and I would disappoint my mom somehow, and she would say “you have to earn my trust back.” That’s exactly what employers have to do now. Yes, it may take time and effort on their part but the benefits of having happy employers who value, trust and are loyal to their bosses will have much more of a payout than what needs to be invested upfront.

><(("> Michela Fleury

Michela is a ><(("> Team Member at Catch Your Limit, a management firm with offices in Tallahassee, Florida and Richmond, Virginia. To learn more, visit

Posted in Leadership.


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  1. Gayle Turner says

    Michela, I see trust as a two-way street. Placing all of the burden on management is irrational. Both parties bear a responsibility for negotiating their relationship. I know a lot of people feel vuknerable right now. The current economy is magnifying the uncertainty of already flimsy relationships. I don't think pointing the finger at management and saying 'the ball's in your court' is a strategy with much promise. I like your 'schedule face time' idea. Talking with and listening to one another is the first step to building trust. Or in our case, singing together. :^)

  2. Tom Laughon says

    I really like your blog. I am going to be facilitating a session at Florida League of Cities focusing on the recession's impact on morale in the workplace.

    Face to face, head to head and heart to heart is the place to go and never leave. Think about personal relationships. They live and die based on communication, clear expectations and trust that we'll meet each others expectations consistently. However, how many days do we go to work and never even attempt to make real contact with our leadership other than a nod in the hallway. To Gayle's point, it takes at least two to communicate or else you wind up talking to yourself. And we all know where that gets us. So, the accountability is on all of us to connect with each other in an open, honest, unrelenting way. That is the start of building or rebuilding trust. Keep up the great blogs! I trust you will : )

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