Our work world is built on evaluations. Job descriptions, annual performance reviews, setting goals, keeping track of time, and, last but not least, leadership. All serve the goal of keeping employees in check to ensure that they’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing.

In many companies, leaders are still acting like hall monitors: they need to approve vacation days and budgets, review staff goals and make sure that workers show up. Better not to let them work from home because you can’t keep tabs on them every second of the work day!

The problem is that too many leaders don’t trust their employees and claim that all of the checks are for the good of the company.

  • Aren’t we all grown-ups able to manage our own work?
  • What’s the value in having my boss approve my vacation days?
  • Doesn’t using timeclocks just make us wait for the “whistle to blow” instead of being productive?
  • Is physical presence the right measure of performance?
  • Do office supplies really need management approval to keep budgets under control?
  • Do goals really guarantee that we’re doing the right thing?

Building trust in your colleagues, employees, and managers is one of the biggest challenges facing companies. Many don’t even realize it, because mistrust is considered just an ordinary state of affairs.

We need to give up some control. If we’re honest, it’s long overdue. We don’t want to accept it and keep on keeping tabs, as a matter of habit, not because it creates value. After all, what value do I have as a manager if I’m not (micro)managing my staff?

Employees need leadership, orientation, and support. Trust is the best basis for this.

So check your processes and ask yourself whether they’re based on trust or mistrust. You’ll be surprised how many are based on mistrust. Changing this is essential for developing a trusting, successful culture for your company. Your employees will thank you for it.

Yours, Heidi Hofer.


About Heidi Hofer

Heidi Hofer is a consultant for leadership teams who want to make their organization fit for the future. She supports, provides orientation, and develops strategies for a working environment characterized by human-centric leadership, individual development, and meaningful structures. This working environment then serves as the basis for healthy growth, full potential development, and sustainable success. She has profound industry expertise in the areas of tech, e-commerce, and digital.