Albert Einstein said, “whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.” Broken promises have consequences in relationships. The employer-employee relationship relies on trust.
Employers trust that employees will show up and do their job, keep their skills up to date, and work in the best interest of the organization.
Employees trust that their employers will pay them on time, offer benefits, and not misrepresent the type of work they’ll be doing. Implicitly, employers may offer even more promises, such as regular evaluations, raises, and informal perks.
Employers are also currently offering flexible work hours and remote options, many are even promising that they’ll never go away. But we’re already seeing companies go back on what they promised.
What happens when employers break promises?
Broken promises make people feel disappointed and even angry, even minor promises about working remotely and then being forced back into the office. Many people can manage their emotions and keep working, but it takes additional mental energy to deal with negative emotions.
Mental energy that could be spent on productivity and customer service instead of handling their own dwindling mental resources. Employees may make shortcuts when making decisions about their work. They may not be as diligent about finishing tasks or in dealing with clients.
How can employers rebuild trust?
Considering the state of the employment market, with employers clamoring for employees, employers need to be careful about breaking promises. As offices transition to a new normal, it’s important to be transparent with employees. If working remotely is no longer an option, be honest with your employees and provide enough time to transition back to the office.
Clarify situations when things change. Communication can rebuild trust and morale. Employees know and understand that the workplace is fluid, but they want to make sense of the reasons thing change.
“You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.” Employees remember broken promises. If you want to retain your best talent, keep your word, even in the little things.