We are living in unprecedented times. Never have there been more uncertainty, restlessness and perplexity in our country.
Over the past year, many of our corporations have taken a beating and are still struggling to overcome insurmountable challenges that appear to roll in like one giant wave after another. These challenges have shaken loose the foundation of trust, governance and integrity within our corporations and have evoked emotions of mistrust and anger among our employees. Many corporate leaders are at an ethical crossroad regarding the COVID-19 vaccine and their employees. Our leaders are at a point where whatever decision is made today will forever be etched on the minds of their employees and may hunt these very leaders in the years to come.
While our corporate leaders hesitation to act is understandable, often when things get out of hand it is usually best to reconnect with your employees. It is said that, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”. In these times, our leaders need to reflect on the truths and principles on which their corporations were founded. Those philosophies and values that have stood the test of time and have steadied the corporations; and kept the employees hopeful and trusting over the years. Mr. Manager, your employees are fearful and in many respects the future is blurred by the many challenges that our country is facing. This is not the time to use strong-arm tactics, ‘my way or the highway’ strategies or to use intimidation to ensure compliance. A wise managing director once said, “if I compel you to comply then you will resist”, people are more receptive when they are given a choice and only a tyrant governs with an ‘iron fist’.
Needless to say that it is crucial now more than ever that employees trust the leadership of the corporations. Trusted leadership in uncertain times benefits from employees that exhibit a greater commitment to organisational goals, effective communication between all levels of the organisation and higher creativity and productive among staff. During these restless and perplexing times your employees will be more adaptable and willing to embrace the new normal, if they know you can be trusted. Leaders, it is time to evaluate your leadership and do what is necessary to gain the trust of those whose future is in your hands.
Dr. Wendyann Richardson is a Management Consultant who specializes in corporate governance, business operations management and refining of skills through training. She can be reached at [email protected]