Whether you’re in the planning stage of returning your staff to working at the office, or reviewing how the “new normal” of 2020 means your team will continue to work remotely, your management team is conveying various messages around trust to your staff. And that leads to an important question you need to address that you may not be thinking about:

Are Your Employees Empowered to Deliver on Your Brand Promise?

Before March of this year, you may have been able to answer that confidently, pointing to training and resources and ongoing team engagement. But what about today? Have your managers and supervisors supported and inspired confidence in your team during the pandemic?

Does your team still trust that they can make independent decisions? Or have messages blocked their ability to ensure your brand promises are delivered as expected to your customers, supporters and stakeholders?

In a June 2020 opinion article on UPenn’s Wharton Knowledge webpage, David De Cremer, the provost’s chair and professor in management and organizations at the National University of Singapore Business School looks at the Importance of Trust at Work and how COVID-19 has magnified the differences between trusting and controlling employees.

De Cremer talks about how the transition to working from home and online meetings during the global pandemic have highlighted “the negative impact that managers have on employees’ life at home…with complaints about managers who care more about productivity than the health of their employees,” and how “online meetings have become means to monitor and assess work attitude…”

Are you trusting or controlling your employees? And which do they think you’re doing?

Your managers and supervisors may believe they have been supportive and encouraging, building on employee engagement and conversations online. However, the communications and engagement may have eroded your team’s ability to confidently deliver on your brand promises. Regardless of your leadership’s intentions, your employees’ perception is reality. 

So how do you know if your people believe they are trusted to do their jobs? You ask them. A simple set of questions that assesses your team’s alignment with your brand, and their confidence in their ability to deliver, will yield powerful insights into the future or your organization.

Beware, though, of implementing a survey on your own. A 2016 Medallia study indicates that employees are unlikely to be candid on a survey that comes from an internal division such as Human Resources or Employee Engagement. Your team will know the answers you’re looking for and will tell you what you want to hear, not what you need to hear.

Your brand promise is only as strong as your employees’ confidence in their ability to deliver on it. Now is the time to make sure your team is 100% in alignment from the top down and bottom up.

Want to know more? Contact us today.

In Case You Missed Part Three: Disruption and Innovation


(c) 7/2020 MBM Marketing