November 14, 2011 by Neil
So loudmouth Morrison spoke at the CIPD conference last week about social media. And to be honest, in my reflection on the event I’m not really sure I was talking about social media. Ok…..so I WAS talking about social media….but it was more of an example of where I think organisations and HR teams go wrong. And the lessons are applicable to so many other areas.
I was talking about TRUST.
So this is an old-fashioned concept, right? Work is all about supply and demand. Anything else is just side dressing.
I’m not so sure.
The thing is this, how many of you can turn around and say, “we truly trust our employees” or “we trust our employees to do the right thing for us and for them”? My guess is that a lot of you will be saying yes…..yes we do. So then let me ask you this…..why do you have so much of your HR infrastructure set up to kick into play when something goes wrong?
I’m talking about disciplinary procedures, performance improvement procedures, policies on this, that and the other. Ways in which we monitor, evaluate, measure and generally rip the soul out of the heart of the organisation. We all do that. Be honest…..don’t we?
So why is trust so hard? Why is it that we manage the majority with the fear of the minority? Why do we shy away from the bold actions of trust, individual responsibility and mutual support and respect? Why do we seek to punish people for “non-compliance” rather than seek to understand?
Because we are weak, scared and generally under prepared to deal with the responsibility of managing the expectations that are set upon us. So control, structure and managing to the lowest common denominator are simpler, less scary and without doubt more certain.
And that, my friends, is the challenge that we’re up against. Whether we’re talking social media, or whether we are talking about any other aspect of the human experience at work. We need to decide if we’re prepared to truly trust, or if we want to say we do but orgainse ourselves as if we don’t.
There’s a huge opportunity out there, there is a changing agenda. The brave and bright will get it, the rest will become a thing of the past. You have a choice.