#3: Rules of Engagement: Building Trust
At SERA, we come to work knowing that our offices are environments of respect, cooperation and collaboration. That’s not going to change when we return after working from home for so long.
But it won’t be exactly the same office we left either. Social distancing, face masks, obsessively cleaned surfaces and a conspicuous lack of tchotchkes will make the office feel initially strange. And being around other people — however close we may be as coworkers — may feel uncertain and risky. In order to collaborate effectively, our interactions must be built on a foundation of trust.
As Paul J. Zak notes in the Harvard Business Review, “Employees in high-trust organizations are more productive, have more energy at work, collaborate better with their colleagues, and stay with their employers longer than people working at low-trust companies. They also suffer less chronic stress and are happier with their lives, and these factors fuel stronger performance.”
In the past, we’ve earned each other’s trust by nailing project deadlines and honoring our commitments to our teams. But now it’s time to re-evaluate what it means to build trust in a pandemic. The consequences of carelessness seem higher, the potential outcomes of trust betrayed more consequential. Therefore, it is crucially important that each employee is committed to:
♦ Following established return-to-office protocols
♦ Listening to our bodies and carefully monitoring ourselves and our outside contacts for signs of symptoms or risk
♦ Respecting our colleagues by taking no chances with our (or their) health, and
♦ Communicating candidly with our coworkers and managers.
Do you have ideas on how we can build trust within your organization? Please leave them in the comments below.
Join us back here on Thursday, when we’ll be considering the power of cooperation to pull us together in these strange times.