CEOs Tap into an Executive Development Program to Address Trust Issues

Summary: Recent statistics suggest the American workplace is suffering from a crisis of trust that is affecting business results. Can an executive development program help to rebuild employee trust? It’s a question CEOs and their talent leaders are asking in this tight labor market. That’s because trusting employees are more likely to show up, be motivated to achieve results, and stay on the job, say experts. However, recent studies suggest that employees’ trust in their organization’s leaders has fallen to a level not seen in nearly a decade. That’s why organizations are relying on external coaches to boost their leaders’ performance – including trustworthiness.

In today’s tight talent market, trust is more of a business concern than in the past. Employees are less committed to employers they don’t trust. Employees want to see that their employer is investing in them – making investments in their upskilling and professional development. If that isn’t happening, employees may feel they don’t have a future with the company, despite management’s rhetoric. An executive development program is a way to address this.

Is trust really lacking in the workplace? Consider these recent reports:

  • One in 4 employees don’t trust their employer, according to a recent study by Deloitte. The same researchers contend that “trusting employees are 260% more motivated to work, have 41% lower rates of absenteeism, and are 50% less likely to look for another job.”
  • Only 21% of U.S. employees strongly agree that they trust their organization’s leadership, according to Gallup. This lack of trust has been in steady decline since the pandemic and a noteworthy peak in 2019, raising serious questions about morale in the American workplace.
  • Another staggering statistic from Gallup is that just two in 10 employees feel highly confident in their leaders to manage emerging challenges.

A Crisis of Trust & How an Executive Development Program Helps

The bottom line is that trust in leadership is decreasing. Meanwhile, an executive development program has emerged as a solution to rebuild trust, strengthen company culture, and ensure leadership is primed to adapt to the changing times.

An executive development program provides a stopgap solution and a foundational restructuring to ensure all leadership levels are developed and empowered to maximize and sustain business results. These programs are exceptional at guiding leaders in creating environments where employees feel valued, recognized, and invested in.

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Trustbuilding Through an Executive Development Program

1. Transparent Communication Practices

Employees are inspired by successful leaders who are transparent as they lead organizational change. Leaders who communicate the set-up, the clear plan, and the vision or payoff build trust. Transparency is a foundational principle, but too often leaders skimp on communications or believe employees won’t care, won’t understand, or don’t need to know.

An executive development program can help leaders embrace their role as communicator, while encouraging new habits and techniques. Coaches can guide, prod, and ask questions that hold leaders accountable for greater transparency.

Particularly when functional leaders rise in the ranks of leadership, they need to be reminded of their important role – in not just seeing that work gets done – but also in communicating the “why” of it all. Employees who better understand the vision, company goals, and strategic actions have more confidence in the strength of their leaders.

2. Reasonable Performance Standards for all – Whether Remote, Onsite or Hybrid

Hybrid and remote work conditions have fed into the breakdown of trust. Valuable employees bemoan the fact that they aren’t trusted to work remotely. Conversely, when managers are unable to visualize the remote team’s output, fear sets in. The irony is that many onsite workers can be highly unproductive – working at tasks unrelated to the mission.

Distrust happens when managers ask a barrage of questions or incessantly request reports and updates – however reasonable these requests might be.

At the same time, in today’s tech world, where some employers are monitoring work through technical surveillance methods, such as by monitoring keystroke logging and other computer activities, employees can feel both devalued and stressed.

In short, managers of remote and hybrid teams tend to both under- and over-manage results. And trust continues to erode from all points of view.

An executive development program can help leaders set the right balance so that leaders display a concern for both people and performance. Coaches can help leaders identify realistic, reasonable standards of productive performance and monitoring of results.

See Also: Transformational Coaching for Executives

3. Accountability Across the Organization

An executive coach can help each leader contribute to a culture of accountability that starts at the top. That means not just communicating transparently when things go well, but also communicating setbacks and acknowledging mistakes at the leadership level.

Leaders who are accountable to the organization for their performance win the trust of all.

When employees feel their values align with the executive team’s values, they’re more likely to be engaged and have a measurable impact on performance, loyalty, and even referral rates.

Can You Afford to Ignore Your Culture?

According to Chief Learning Officer, only 36% of U.S. employees are engaged at work, and 80% of workplaces are regarded as moderately to highly toxic. Could your organization be regarded as toxic by the talent you need to accomplish your mission?

These numbers paint a negative picture of the American workplace, but also provide an opportunity for the transformative power of an executive development program. A one-on-one executive coach empowers leaders to inspire by building self-awareness, developing a strategic approach, growing their EQ, and enhancing their ability to motivate teams to deliver transformational results.

An executive development program can help transform your culture by helping leaders become more transparent, by adopting reasonable standards of performance across the organization, and by increasing levels of accountability by starting at the top.

The Necessity of Building Strong Leadership through an Executive Development Program —If Not Now, When?

The correlation between organizational success and trust is impossible to ignore. An executive development program succeeds because they can encourage sustainable changes for transparency, shared standards of performance, and people-centricity. All of these cultivate trust and create environments where employees thrive.

IMPACT Group’s executive development program leverages the ARIA model – a brain-based approach to get from Awareness to Action. Through this program, leaders gain invaluable insight into their next-level potential, enjoy enhanced team success, and experience heightened overall effectiveness. This not only bolsters their own growth, but also safeguards their organization from impending changes through dedicated coaching engagements. These programs provide a structured framework, assessments, and a personalized action plan.

Conclusion: Should You Engage an Executive Coach?

Will your executive development program transform your culture into one that is more trusting? Our answer is yes. Culture is built at the top, and coaches have a high degree of impact. Albeit, the depth of change will vary with the quality of the coaching program and its scale.

At IMPACT Group, we’ve found that when CEOs and their executive teams engages in an executive development program for a significant period of time, culture transformation is almost always the norm. Building a high-trust culture starts at the top.

For leaders looking to build or rebuild trust, learn more about IMPACT Group’s executive development program today.