Article (October-2017)

Articles

Trusted employees make happy workplace

Rajeev Bhardwaj

Designation : -   Vice President-Human Resource, Sun Life Financial

Organization : -  Mumbai

01-Oct-2017

Mutual trust is a key component of all relationships. The relationship between an organization and its employees is no different. Whether a fresh graduate or an established professional, today everyone desires to work with an organization that not only fulfills his/her financial needs but also provides an environment of trust at all levels. Employee should be able to trust the organization to stand beside him/her in difficult times. Similarly, employees also expect the organization to trust their potential, decisions and commitment to their workplace.

Increasingly, businesses today are providing a lot of flexibility in terms of working hours as well as option for remote working. For example, there is a new culture of allowing employees to work from home and many companies are adopting this. Earlier, thrust by human resource managers was to put an employee to work for minimum stipulated number of hours, but it is being increasingly recognized by employers that it is not the number of hours, but the quality of work and the output that matters. Towards this, companies have started offering work - from - home option to the younger workforce and it turns out to be more productive. The entire premise of allowing this facility to employees is to build trust.

Building trust is a deep-rooted process
While the above mentioned change in the mindset of human resource managers and organizations as a whole is welcome, it will work effectively only if it permeates into the entire hierarchical structure. Sometimes a decision regarding allowing flexibility to the employees is taken at the top level of the organization but the same does not get translated into action by the middle level managers and the reason can be personal bias or preferences. At the same time, resistance to change is another key factor that prevents such positive transformations from flowing smoothly through the fabric of the organization.

Managers' resistance to change may cast aspersions on the intent of younger employees, who are allowed work - from - home. Employees, especially the younger generation, want to be trusted and desire to be entrusted with due responsibility.

By creating a culture and environment, that is employee centric and in harmony with the goals of the employees, organizations can ensure trust from their workforce. This helps the organizations retain loyal employees who work hard for the growth of the organization.

Organizations that work on building emotional relationships with their employees are achieving better productivity and growth, and trust plays a pivotal role here.

What makes an organization trusted?
Divya (28) was a key member of the corporate communications team of a leading organization. Having started her career with the organization five years back, she considered it akin to her family. However, when her father suddenly suffered from a critical illness and required surgery and prolonged hospitalization, she decided to quit her job to focus on her father's recovery. The organization decided to retain her, and not only offered her four months of paid leave but also allowed her two months time to work from home. This is how organizations connect with their employees at personal level and cultivate trust.

Creating a work environment that employee feels pleased to work in is something that benefits the business in the long run. A good word of mouth has the power to persuade the most talented individuals to come and work for the organization.

Organizations that centre their relationships with their employees on the premise of mutual trust not only manage better retention rates but also become a magnet for the best talent in the industry.

What leads to an appreciable and trusted work environment?
Fair Salary - When an employee knows that he is receiving a fair compensation in return of his services, he feels contented and continues to work with the organization for a longer period.

Flexible Schedule - Employees today look forward to work - life balance. Offering adjustable/flexible hours or work from home for a few days in a week renders a positive impact on employees as they are able to satisfy the demands of their personal lives along with their professional life.

Training - The generation of millennials is highly ambitious and looks for constant professional growth. Stagnant work does not gel with their ambitions. Offering training from time to time on how to increase productivity, promotes a healthy work environment. It also instils trust among employees about the organization's commitment towards nurturing their talent.

Building employee relations - A good organization should always work on building harmonious relations among employees. An amiable relationship among employees leads to a happier environment. Research shows that employees who have friends in office look forward to going at work and perform better.