Thursday, 12 July 2012

The Olympics- A Matter of Trust

Just dropping by to reblog this piece by Jane Sparrow from the excellent HRZone website as not all of you can log in there and it deserves a wide audience.

Whether you agree with London Mayor Boris Johnson's comments about 'skiving' home-workers or not, his outspoken views last week have once again raised the bigger issue of trust. 

As we move closer to the Olympics, I believe we will see more evidence of companies that do -  and companies that don't -  trust their staff.  

The Olympics is a unique opportunity to celebrate. Many organisations are sharing the excitment of the Games and doing wonderful things such as putting up wide-screen TVs into canteens and meeting rooms to allow staff the opportunity to watch the action.  

Other companies are seeing the Olympics as an opportunity to discover new ways of working and connecting with each other.

Equally, however, there are also stories emerging about employers placing restrictions on social media and internet use during the Games. Sites like do not help to dispel the cynicism about a mistrusted workforce looking to take advantage.  

Of course, each company has to decide its own agenda around the Olympics to best suit its culture and organisation. It's about finding the balance that enables staff to celebrate and enjoy the games if they wish to, whilst still ensuring business continues 'as normal'.  

How companies choose to act sends a clear message about the behaviours it really values and it is not just current employees that are shaped and influenced by these actions. Generation Y - the Millennials -  our younger and technology-savvy future workforce, will be making their own mind up about their choice of employer. 

Surveys show that this generation of employees are looking for more than a paypacket from their employer.

They want flexible working that enables them to build their lives around their work. They also want a workplace that is fun and enjoyable to be part of, in exchange for their loyalty and dedication. They take social responsibility seriously and expect transparency from their employer.    

Business needs exceptional people in order to thrive and grow. For many organisations, how it entrusts its workforce with the time, flexibility and and opportunity to celebrate the Olympics will send an important message not just to its employees, but to the next generation of talent.

Jane Sparrow is managing director of behavioural change consultancy, Northern Flight.

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