Building Trust to Fast-Track a Turnaround

Michael Fingland

Executive Director and CEO

Building trust is crucial in any situation where people are asked to work together towards a common goal, but it becomes even more critical in a turnaround situation. A turnaround is a period of intense change and uncertainty, often marked by financial distress, leadership transitions, and job losses. In such an environment, employees are likely to feel anxious, demoralized, and skeptical of the management’s intentions.

Without trust, employees may resist the changes that are necessary to turn the company around, or they may disengage from their work and sabotage the company’s efforts. Moreover, employees may withhold vital information or fail to report problems, leading to a lack of transparency that can further undermine the turnaround efforts.

On the other hand, when trust is present, employees are more likely to be willing to embrace change, collaborate with each other, and share information openly. They are more likely to take risks, make suggestions, and offer feedback, all of which are essential for identifying and addressing problems.

Building trust in a turnaround situation requires a concerted effort from the company’s leadership. Leaders must communicate honestly and transparently, listen actively, and follow through on commitments. They must also demonstrate empathy, show respect for employees’ opinions, and provide opportunities for input and feedback. By doing so, they can create a sense of shared purpose and a commitment to the company’s success, which are critical ingredients for a successful turnaround.

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