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10 Jun 2014
Employee trust in a company or in its senior management level is of course earned rather than automatic but often it will also be passed on and a workforce with high morale and trust in its employer will tend to instil such feelings into newer employees. It should not be underestimated the positive affect that such feelings have on staff productivity.A workforce with low morale is more likely to under perform or misbehave and general mistrust of management may mean that employees’ spend as much time watching their own backs as they do performing their own work. There is no guaranteed way to earn trust from staff. However trust will often arise through employees perceptions of fairness within the workplace. Fairness tends to arise through the consistent application of reasonable and transparent rules. There are ways that you can increase your employees’ trust in your management:
1. Appropriate Policies – Are your policies clear and concise? Think what you are trying achieve by them. There is little point having a 200 page staff handbook if the majority of the entries are not relevant to your particular business.
2. Accessible Policies– If staff are expected to adhere to polices and indeed be held accountable for any breach then they need to have seen such documents and have access to regularly updated versions. Staff should know what is expected of them.
3. Consistency– It is all well and good having structured rules and comprehensive staff policies but they are not applied consistently then this will only serve to create the perception of unfairness and potential animosity within your work force. Some discretion is always sensible but letting things slip can cause problems in the future when you try and get things back on track.
4. Training – Are your managers fully aware of your policies and the proper means of implementing them? Are they providing a fair and consistent level of monitoring, training and discipline in line with overall company guidelines? Good training of management in understanding what the Company seeks to achieve for its staff is vital.
5. Appraisals– Are appraisals being done and are they being done consistently? Are they being properly recorded? Managers who seek to curry favour with staff by giving glowing appraisals may do as much damage as those who are overly harsh. Appraisals should be used to guide staff; to address issues and also to reward them. Staff who have had comprehensive appraisals will see that their managers are genuinely concerned to involve themselves in their work and development. In the end, if you provide a suitable framework for staff to work within which you adhere to, they know where they stand from the off; this can go along way towards creating a harmonious culture.
Harding Evans is a trading name of Harding Evans LLP, a limited liability partnership, registered in England & Wales (registered number: OC311802), authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA number: 419663).