Trust in the face of COVID

By Rick James

I’m a big fan of the work of Veronica Hope Hailey. In the last few months she’s published some ground-breaking research on trust in the face of COVID-19, which we will look at in the next couple of weeks. She found that in the first stage of COVID last year, even in midst the midst of restructuring, divestment and redundancy programs, high trust leaders still lived out the four key ingredients of trust:

Ability: They empowered employees and local managers.
Benevolence: They demonstrated care and support for employees both emotionally and practically.
Integrity: They communicated how they would navigate the crisis in a timely, open and respectful manner. They sought to demonstrate the sense of fairness that underpinned their difficult decisions.
Predictability: They built a bridge to the future in the minds of the workforces by showing employees that in the midst of disruption there was a continuity of values or purpose, sometimes calling upon their historical roots to show how they informed the future vision.

Take a moment to look back on the last year, how have you got on in these four areas?
As you look to the week ahead, what specific actions could you take to live out these four ingredients of trust?


  1. Its interesting to note that in some institutions, COVID-19 exposed the lack of trust among employees and more importantly integrity. We have had cases where employees instead of working at home, there were lazing at home and some would join virtual meetings, waste data bundles but in essence were busy with personal errands

  2. Pingback: Hazards to trust

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: