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Tuesday, 28 June 2016 11:35

Staff don’t trust you – 5 roots of crisis and 4 action points for sustainable success Featured

Written by Mia Messina
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Staff don’t trust you – 5 roots of crisis and 4 action points for sustainable success

If the team does not trust the management, company leaders cannot rely on the team to deliver.

Your employees don’t trust you?

Trust undeniably plays an important role in the workplace – but if previous reports are anything to go by, getting your employees to trust you is easier said than done.

The top factor for this lack of trust in the workplace? Issues around compensation.

This was, at least, according to latest research by EY, which surveyed over 9,800 full-time workers, aged 19-68 years, working at companies of varying sizes.

The research found that less than half (46%) of full-time employed respondents globally, aged 19-68, placed a “great deal of trust” in their employer, boss or colleagues (both 49%).

Among those who said they have “very little” or “no trust” in their current employer, the top five factors that led them to say this were:

  1. “Employee compensation is not fair” (53%)
  2. “Does not provide employees with equal opportunity for pay and promotion” (48%)
  3. “Lack of strong leadership” (46%)
  4. “Too much employee turnover – voluntary and/or involuntary” (43%)
  5. “Does not foster a collaborative work environment” (43%)

The implications of this research reveal a number of actionable opportunities that C-suite executives across the globe can implement to positively enhance trust for their organisation.

“Our global research sheds some light on the determinants of trust across generations, including Gen Z” 
- Karyn Twaronite, EY global diversity and inclusiveness officer

The study also found that parents of Gen Z have a strong impact (both positively and negatively) on the level of trust that this next wave of talent place in their future employers.

Gen Z were, in fact, the least likely to place “a great deal of trust” in their employer (41%) or boss (46%).

Millennials (ages 19-34) were in the middle for placing this much trust in their employer (45%), and boss (50%).

Globally, the research found a higher percentage of full-time working Baby Boomers (ages 51-68) placing a “great deal of trust” in their employer (51%), boss (52%) and team/colleagues (53%) than for other generations.

Leadership in a time of crisis 

Consider the case of Norwegian Cruise Line.

Founded in 1966, Norwegian quickly became an innovator in its field as the first company to offer round-trip cruises that nearly anybody could afford.

For years, the company led its industry, guided by strong growth ambitions and aggressive investors.

But by the 1990s it had run aground: It hadn’t properly developed systems to implement its growth strategy internally, and so that strategy broke down at dozens of points of execution on the front line—with customers, crew, staff on the shore and the company’s travel agent partners.

In 2000, with more than $100 million in negative cash flow, the company agreed to be acquired by Star Cruises, a leading cruise operator in Asia.

“Our biggest problems were internal, not related to the industry ... our frontline employees had lost a sense of what was important” 
- Kevin Sheehan, the veteran executive with experience in the car-rental and entertainment industries who was tasked with turning the company around in 2007

The strategies that the new management put in place worked. By early 2013, Norwegian went public and became one of the most successful IPOs of the year, closing the year 87% above its IPO price. Here are some of the strategies Sheehan and his team adopted:

#1 – Open up lines of communication 

One of the central dysfunctions that plagued Norwegian during its crisis was that shipside personnel didn’t believe that shoreside personnel understood the challenges of their work, and vice versa.

In addressing this, the new management made connecting these two sides a key priority. To make sure each learned from the other, the leadership team began including shipside staff in processes and decisions that had previously been handled exclusively in the corporate office, and invited officers from across the fleet to attend the company’s leadership retreats.

Every company, especially those growing rapidly, can benefit from this sort of cross-fertilisation to build trust and empowerment among its personnel.

#2 – Celebrate and reward frontline heroes 

When overloaded by crisis or rapid change, managers often react in ways that put distance between themselves and the front line. This is the opposite of what needs to happen.

To avoid this reflex, the new CEO and his team introduced the Vacation Hero program, which taught staff how to better engage guests and identify employees who had gone out of their way to make a passenger’s stay special.

Their reasoning was simple: They knew that an organisation is ahead of the game in preventing overload and building trust if its frontline employees love the details of the business and feel empowered to solve tactical problems on the spot.

These provide employees with more capacity to grow, keep decision processes swift and smooth, and sustain employee loyalty and productivity, so the result is a self-correcting organisation that learns and changes almost automatically without constant hand-holding.

#3 – Make constant improvement a focus 

The leadership team at Norwegian put in place a kaizen (continuous improvement) system to gather ideas from the front line on how to improve and streamline operations and processes everywhere in the organisation, and created extensive discussion forums and recognition for the best ideas.

They even developed a method to involve employees in the details of ship design, a powerful example of their new emphasis on the vertical rather than the horizontal.

Norwegian encouraged its employees, in other words, to adopt an owner’s mindset: a powerful sense of responsibility for all of their employees, customers, products and decisions.

The difference between employees who operate with the owner’s mindset and those who don’t can be as great as the difference between devoted parents and restless babysitters.

#4 – Codify best practices 

Norwegian developed a new software application, delivered through iPads, that defined and gathered inputs on Platinum Standards – that is, the best practices in terms of both operations and passenger loyalty drivers.

Management understood the critical importance of this step. If you take the time to codify your key practices and principles, and use them as a compass to help chart your course, you can help your company maintain a strong sense of purpose and a powerful consistency of action.

Financial impact – showing PROOF to the board 

The impact of above HR-centred changes can be measured on the Financial Statement, and shown to the board of directors with confidence:

  • In early 2013, Norwegian went public and became one of the most successful IPOs of the year, closing the year 87% above its IPO price
  • From 2008 through 2013, EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) margins increased for 20 consecutive quarters, from 5% to 25%
  • Overall, the company’s revenues have grown by 50%, and its net yield and average fleet age are now the best in its industry

Having successfully survived its leadership crisis, the company is a leader in its industry again.

Crises or trust are stressful because it happens when people are already working as hard as they can, with limited capacity to deal with more.

If you’re starting to see the above symptoms in your company, your core challenges are to help your leadership refocus the team’s efforts on customers and enabling frontline employees, and remove barriers to decision-making.

By thinking like a founder and acting quickly, you as an HR leader can act decisively and help management steer the company back on course.

Are you ready? 

Surprisingly – or for some, maybe not – CEOs indicated that they feel HR is not prepared for the challenges ahead, and are concerned about the availability of key skills needed by the business.

It’s not the HR team’s fault, either. Majority of the CEOs surveyed did indicate that the executive team as a whole have not yet taken the first step, despite 93% of CEOs recognising the need to change talent strategies.

There is no time to waste. 62% of job candidates are now checking your company as well, determining authenticity, and if the employer’s own brand would look good on the future resume.

THERE’S MORE: Enhance your corporate planning with proprietary management tools from former President Director of KPMG Indonesia! 

Scenario planning expert and foremost futurist Wilson Fyffe provides performance improvement consulting services to organisations around the globe, supported by best-of-breed software.

The suite of management tools he provides includes Scenario Planning, Strategic Planning, Blue Ocean Strategy, Balanced Scorecard, Business Process Reengineering, 360 Degree Feedback, Corporate Recovery and Corporate Finance.

As President Director of KPMG International Consultants Indonesia in the 1990s, Wilson was required to implement a redirection in strategy for this strategic business unit, from conventional growth economy consulting services (IT strategy, BPR) to economic crisis consulting (Corporate Recovery, Corporate Finance). The mission was accomplished with a 40% increase in consulting revenues during the mission period.

PLUS! Enhance leadership and agility in your organisation from Maybank’s extensive HR data! 

Leadership has a higher correlation with business performance than any other talent domain. Advance your practices by incorporating Maybank EVP, HR and Head, Group Technology, Mei-lynn Chan’sstrategies for infusing discipline, agility and focus, creating a business case for investment in leadership and working explicitly to build a reputation for strong leadership.

With close to 3 decades of experience in HR from consulting to corporate roles, handling both local as well as regional responsibilities, Mei-lynn infuses discipline, agility and focus in Maybank’s 47,000-strong workforce powering its US$ 5.3 billion banking business. She ensures that HR is a very strong partner in driving the business and achieving the bank’s commercial objectives to always increase shareholder value.

WELCOME! A moderator who’s interviewed Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Mikhail Gorbachev, Muhammad Yunus – and perhaps, you? 

Welcoming Eduardo Braun, expert in Leadership and Culture of Change, to co-moderate this year’s congress!

Mr Braun was Director and co-founder of the World Business Forum and the HSM Group. For almost 15 years he has interviewed many history-making personalities like William Jefferson Clinton, Rudy Giuliani, Tony Blair, Mikhail Gorbachev, Felipe González, Ingrid Betancourt, Alvaro Uribe or the Nobel Prize winners Muhammad Yunus, Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman.

He received lessons on management from gurus such as Peter Drucker, Michael Porter, Philip Kotler, Ram Charan, and Tom Peters. Business leaders from the most successful companies like General Electric (Jack Welch), Disney (Michael Eisner), Southwest Airlines (Herb Kelleher), and Lucas Films (George Lucas) shared their experiences and their path to success with him.

BY INVITATION ONLY: Tickets at only USD 1350 per head when you book at least 3 delegates until 6th July 2016! 

When you book 3 or more delegates between now and 6th July 2016, you will receive the opportunity to enjoy a special rate of only USD 1350 per delegate. This is over 65% lower than regular rates!!

Give your team the capacity to lead, engage and reinvent human capital management towards sustainable growth and profitability! Reduce uncertainties from global mega-trends and ensure you build competitive advantages not tomorrow, not next year, butright nowRegister today!

To register with this by-invitation-only discount, complete the Registration Form on the last page of the attached brochure and prospectus, and send it back to us via email toThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with TRUST65 clearly indicated on the top of the form.


Gain clarity in Bali – register today for the 6th HR Technology Congress Asia on 20-21 October 2016! 

It’s no longer just about the money. Digitalisation is creating new business models and flexibility is the new currency to attract staff.

The problem is simple: We need to change quickly to be able to get the talented people to run a profitable, high-margin business as the business environment quickly evolves, so at the end of the exercise, you always become the company of choice.

If you are not fast enough, techie enough, automated enough or mobile enough, you simply will not have a business in the future. Staff and customer turnover will be your day-to-day reality.

Solutions that others feel should be done include:

  • Rebranding like a ‘start up’ to be more flexible, fun and future-orientated
  • Creating a system which enables your team to churn products and services and test them quickly
  • Selecting the right mobility solutions that enable you to deliver services while ensuring employee performance

Wouldn’t it be great to become and keep your position as the company of choice when this digitalisation challenge peaks, and the top company rankings rearrange? 

The HR Technology Congress Asia 2016, happening October 20-21, 2016 in Bali, Indonesia is your best platform of tools, best-in-class solutions and partners all under one roof!

The programme features the following specialist tracks and awards -

  • Recruit Excellence
  • HR Startup Demos
  • Payroll and HR SSO
  • HR Prize Gala Night

Participants are CEOs and Human Resources heads, such as Group Chief Human Capital Officer or Chief People Officer job titles.

This early groups have already registered from Indonesia, Malaysia, India and Bangladesh!

By sponsoring or attending you would be able to engage, learn from and build relationships with 300 senior executives from Asia's largest employers and nurture these valuable networks to tap the region's economic boom for you to grow the value of your own large workforce!

HR Technology Congress Asia is the only Human Resources event which effectively integrates and bridges the strategic HR sought by employers and the technology solutions offered by providers, so the value is definitely magnified given the importance of industry benchmarking, relationships and partnerships in gaining clarity to upgrade systems and update people processes.

For registration and sponsorship packages, you may please consult the attached. Special group discounts for delegate registration are also detailed on the registration page.

Given that you are also continuing the drive to develop the human capital of Asian corporations, would it benefit you to take the prominent networking and branding position at this event? You could look into Gold Sponsorship. Let us know if you would like us to hold the Gold Sponsorship slot for you, by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Otherwise, a standard registration at only $3950 should provide you the benefits of being represented at the event. Discounts of 30% OFFapply for groups of 5! Available for a limited period only.

To confirm your participation, just complete the Registration page of the attached Agenda and send it back to us via:

  • return email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or
  • fax to global registrations +1 (646) 513-4296

Register today! Email your registration form at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


  1. EMAIL TO This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  3. CALL US AT +65 9835 7914
    (US: +1 917 512 2878 / UK: +44 20 7193 6310)
  4. FAX +1 646 513 4296
  5. TWEET @HRTechAsia


See you in Bali!

Sincerely yours,

Mia Messina
HR Technology Congress Asia 2016
for the Center for Business Strategy and Tactics

P.S. Be visible in a market that matters. The HR Technology Congress Asia attracts over 300 forward looking executives in ASEAN and neighbouring countries from top organisations. Thought-leadership packages allow you to get management buy-in for your products and services in these sectors and tap into ASEAN’s drive to transform into high-skill, high-value and high-income economies!

We encourage you to explore some packages available for you.

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call +65 9835 7914 (US: +1 917 512 2878 / UK: +44 20 7193 6310) to tailor the package that’s just right for you. 




Around the world, in established and emerging markets, AMG conferences generate billions of dollars of new business for sponsors and exhibitors every year. But that’s just the beginning. 

Not only do AMG conferences generate more qualified and high-value sales leads than any other sales tool apart from companies’ own websites, they also close sales effectively, help maximize your future pipeline and speed up the sales process.

Even in the Internet age, when information is easier to come by, you’re more likely to secure a deal face-to-face at a conference.

And when times are tough, conferences work harder for your marketing budget than any other media.

Only at a conference can you generate direct sales while simultaneously enhancing your brand image, launching new products, researching your market, building your prospect databases and maintaining relationships with your existing customers. Email us atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or tweet us @HRTechAsia.

Read 46093 times Last modified on Tuesday, 05 July 2016 16:15
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