Stephan Schmidt

Trust is Not a One-Way Street

Those who want loyalty, give loyalty


During a crisis, managers and companies want loyalty and trust from their employees. And they don’t get that. Why? Are employees bad people?

Why would you need trust and loyalty? In a crisis, employees need to trust you making the right decisions and getting everyone out of trouble. They need to trust leadership that it makes the right decisions and takes the right direction. Loyalty helps that employees don’t jump ship but give you the benefit of a doubt, even when they are doubtful of the results.

The reason managers and companies don’t get trust and loyalty is, that both are not a one-way street. “Those who want respect, give respect.” as Tony Soprano said. You have to build trust and loyalty in good times to draw on it in challenging times like when your money runs out, or you’re in a straining change management process.

Earning trust and loyalty takes time. You trust employees, you are transparent, you act predictably, you do as you promise, you are fair, and you will build trust. You show loyalty in challenging times, you stick your head out for employees, you take a hit for employees, and this will build loyalty. You’re loyal to them when they need it, they will be loyal to you when you need it.

Many managers never build trust and give loyalty, but then expect this from employees in challenging times—and of course they don’t get it.

Don’t be that manager.

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