Can lack of trust by management influence unsafe behaviour in the workplace?
When people are blanket-bombed with an endless string of jargon-rich policies and rules to try and control their behaviour, the following natural attitudes form; ‘management clearly don’t care about the reality of my job’, ‘this policy stuff is over the top’, ‘I was never involved in this, and will do the opposite when I get a chance’.
Inevitably, contradictions and management inconsistencies arise in organisations, where policies and procedures are not practical or supported and staff begin to mistrust this approach, and mistrust management. Staff also feel devalued seeing as the majority of policies are enforced without staff involvement in the process.
Critically, this lack of trust and value, results in attitudes leading to undesirable behaviour in the workplace. Shortcuts are taken where possible, the unsafe way becomes the norm and resistance is encouraged; all key factors in fostering an unhealthy organisational culture which will exponentially grow if people continue to mistrust the management message and feel devalued.
However all is not lost, because effective leadership will lead to sustainable culture growth, where the underlying attitudes are aligned with desired behaviours, where the management message is trusted, where people take ownership for best practice, where the attitude ‘the right way is the way we do things around here’ is encouraged and a sustainable culture grows from the ground up.
Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be. Sonia Ricotti