Workforce Series – Tip #5: Lead with Transparency and Values to Build Trust and Dedication

Today’s post marks the fifth and final installment of our Workforce Series. Over the past four weeks, Jesse Meschuk, a career and human resources expert, and a Senior Advisor with Exequity, has offered up advice for 1) reorganizing vs. restructuring, 2) planning for the organization of the future, 3) advocating a performance measurement-oriented culture, and 4) training your leadership and management team to be resilient and navigate uncertainty.

This week’s tip focuses on increasing the frequency and level of transparency with your employees, leveraging your values, and using them as an opportunity to build trust and dedication.

Employers have a trust problem. In a recent DDI study of nearly 14,000 leaders and hundreds of organizations, only 32 percent of employees “trust senior leaders at my organization to do what is right.” And only 46 percent trust their direct manager. That’s an astounding trust gap.

If the gap continues to grow, employers risk employees feeling disconnected from their organization, performing less effectively, being less likely to be as productive, and more likely to leave. The best way to close that gap is through constant communication.

With that in mind, consider providing regular business updates on strategy, plans and progress. Hearing from leaders is important – regular monthly sessions with the CEO or other senior leaders to provide updates, respond to questions and celebrate successes can all help. Additionally, addressing existing problems and the plans to fix them will go far to engaging your team.

In fact, you might consider utilizing more modern communication methods such as live presentations on Zoom so more employees can attend, or original short-form video clips with updates from leaders on new programs (similar to what you would see on social media). These methods make updates to your organization more consumable and entertaining, which can increase their reach and impact.

In addition to enhancing your communication approach and frequency, leverage your company’s values and the actions you are taking to do good in the community to help engender trust. On that note, Edelman recently released its annual “Trust Barometer” report, which polls more than 32,000 people around the world on trust and stability. In that study, 69 percent of global employees said, “having a societal impact is a strong expectation or deal-breaker when considering a job.”

Employees want to know they are working somewhere that serves a greater purpose. Infuse that into your regular business updates, and leverage your culture and values as a strength.

The next 12 to 18 months are likely to remain dynamic and full of risk. To emerge in a position of strength, companies must take proactive steps to build the right organization with capabilities needed for its future, have a resilient and agile leadership team, and communicate clearly, regularly and transparently. I must thank Jesse Meschuk for bringing his expertise and insight to this column for the past several weeks. His input has been invaluable to my clients and myself – I hope you have found it useful to you and your organization, as well. Wishing you well in your efforts to navigate the tricky waters of today’s workforce challenges. Happy staffing and Happy Networking!

Appreciation for today’s post goes to Jesse Meschuk, a career and human resources expert, and a Senior Advisor with Exequity.  Jesse has more than 20 years of consulting and human resources experience and has worked across a wide variety of industries including technology, entertainment, gaming, retail, hospitality, and sports. Jesse’s work has spanned across the Americas, Europe and Asia.  Read more about Jesse at

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