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How is it that large public companies, supposedly run by smart experienced leaders get the simple stuff so wrong?

I was completing a purchase at a discount clothing store (think Marshall’s, Target or Kohl’s.) The checker, a store manager, paused my transaction to search the small purse of an employee who was leaving work for the day. The message being sent to that employee from “above” is quite simple, “We don’t trust you not to steal.” I suggested to the manager that employees might be less inclined to steal if they believed that their employer trusted them, to which he replied “It’s the system.” I proposed he do whatever was in his power to change that system. My guess is he won’t for fear of losing his own job.

What does this story tell you about the culture of the organization? How do companies expect any loyalty, any engagement or any longevity from their employees when they treat them like criminals? A few ideas for senior management….

  1. Do a better job screening your new hires
  2. Pay your employees a decent hourly wage
  3. Have a “one and done” policy on theft
  4. Keep your employee searches out of sight of your customers.

Have you participated in Trust Quest, our monthly “pulse” on trust?

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust, and runs the world’s largest membership program for those interested in the subject. She is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and the Executive Editor of TRUST! Magazine. In 2012 Barbara was named “One of 25 Women Changing the World” by Good Business International.

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Copyright 2015, Next Decade, Inc.



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