I’ve been through a couple of executive transitions and restructuring of a company. Let me tell you, neither one of those was easy. New leadership. New direction. New vision. New vibe. New culture. New focus. New pay. All of these new things, but with the same people.
Change this drastic…this intense…requires trust.
My wife is a detail-gal. She likes to have all of the information before moving forward. Not true. Let me re-state that. She’ll move forward without the information, but she’s super skeptical. And I’ve known her long enough to know that a skeptical wife isn’t as fun, loyal nor exciting as an informed wife. When my wife doesn’t know where we are going (it could be out to eat or financially, in life), she hesitant. She questions everything along the way, doubts the answers I give her and refuses to buy in until the end…and it better turn out perfectly. But when she’s informed beforehand, she’s allowed the opportunity to obtain a clearer vision of where we are going. She’s even allowed to help with the process. This is when she’s most happy and fun. More importantly, she has bought in because of her sense of safety and security via information. She trusts me.
This same goes for the relationship between management and their employees. People want to feel in-the-know. And in this case, information can be the greatest sense of security. When you are up front with your employees, not only does it make them feel safe, but you gain an extra sense of loyalty and trust from them, even if the direction of the company isn’t in their favor. But when you don’t communicate; when you leave them in the dark; when everything that happens feels haphazard and willy-nilly; when you abuse the trust they have to give you, relationships may become damaged, irreparable even, and the trust that took you so long to gain, can be lost.