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FitOn HealthApril 20

Trust-Building Strategies for Successful Change Management

In a recent poll conducted among our LinkedIn audience, we asked what they believe is driving burnout in the workplace. A striking 36% of respondents identified high employee turnover as the primary cause. We've previously discussed in our blog how a high turnover environment can significantly weaken employee morale. Still, it brings the question: How can leaders build trust during change management? In this article, we delve into the crucial elements of trust-building and change management strategies that leaders can implement to foster a supportive work environment and help employees navigate the challenges of high turnover and organizational change.

Fostering Trust and Psychological Safety

Trust and psychological safety are significant in organizational change, promoting motivation, collaboration, and satisfaction. Building trust during change management helps employees stay engaged and committed. Executive leadership is pivotal in crafting a trustworthy environment that influences employees' perceptions of the organization and its culture. By demonstrating leadership trust, senior leaders can positively impact the employee experience and cultivate a culture of support and understanding. A trustworthy leader can markedly enhance employees' receptiveness to organizational change, simplifying the navigation of transformation challenges. This is vital for creating a work environment where employees feel at ease and confident. This sense of security enables team members to voice their concerns, share ideas, and collaborate effectively, leading to improved decision-making and a more productive workplace.

Techniques for Building Trust

Clear and effective communication is indispensable when managing change and building trust within an organization. When leaders encourage open dialogue and mutual respect among team members, they can establish an environment where employees feel valued and heard. Emotional intelligence and empathy are critical for leaders who manage change effectively and build trust with their teams. Executive coaching provides leaders the tools and skills to navigate change with understanding and sensitivity.

Employee feedback is also significant in comprehending and addressing concerns during change. By actively seeking input from team members, leaders can assess trust levels and pinpoint areas for improvement. This feedback loop enables managers and team leaders to devise strategies to enhance workplace trust and curb high employee turnover rates. Developing a trusting relationship between leaders and their employees fosters trust during change management. This connection creates a sense of security and support, motivating employees to stay engaged and committed to the organization's goals.

Using Applied Psychological Methods

Applied psychology offers valuable insights into the relationship between trust, employee engagement, and organizational resilience during times of change. Emotional trust during change initiatives assists employees in feeling valued and supported, making it more likely they will remain committed to the company's objectives. Business leaders are responsible for crafting a culture of mutual trust, ensuring employees stay engaged and motivated during times of change. When leaders understand the psychological factors influencing employee trust, they can implement strategies to cultivate a supportive environment. Amy Edmonson's research at Harvard Business School and the Edelman Trust Barometer highlights the connection between trust and employee well-being and provide helpful guidance on existing strategies that work for developing changing teams. But effectively managing change boils down to addressing organizational transformation's practical and emotional aspects. Leaders must be aware of the potential impact of change on employees' mental well-being and devise strategies to support their team members throughout the process.

Factors Contributing to Trust During Change Management


Company Culture

Company culture has a significant role in shaping employees' experiences during change. A culture that values mutual respect, open communication, and emotional intelligence can facilitate trust and engagement among team members. By cultivating a culture of wellness, managers and leaders can ensure their organizations remain adaptable and resilient in the face of change.

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High Turnover Environment

We've already shared how a high turnover can affect employee morale. But The "Great Resignation" phenomenon underscores the significance of trust in the workplace. High employee turnover rates can substantially disrupt an organization's operations and impede its ability to adapt to change. Businesses prioritizing trust-building strategies can mitigate the impact of the Great Resignation and maintain a stable workforce.

Employee Engagement

Engagement is a crucial aspect of building trust during change management. By actively involving employees in the change process and demonstrating their input is valued, business leaders can foster a sense of commitment and loyalty among team members. Engagement fortifies the bonds within a team and helps employees develop a deeper understanding of the organization's goals and the reasons behind the changes.

Foundational Trust

A robust foundation of trust can revolutionize a company's ability to navigate change successfully. Leaders who cultivate a trust culture and prioritize open communication ensure their organizations stay agile and adaptable. This approach not only helps employees feel more secure during times of change but also allows businesses to harness the full potential of their workforce. Mutual trust is pivotal in ensuring that employees remain engaged, motivated, and committed to the organization's success. Fostering a sense of mutual trust, leaders can build strong relationships with their teams, promote collaboration, and encourage employees to contribute their best efforts. 

Hard work and dedication are necessary components of a successful change management process. However, without trust, employees may be less willing to invest their time and energy into the organization's goals. Leaders can inspire their teams to embrace change and strive for continuous improvement by creating a culture that values trust and hard work.

Emotional Trust

One fundamental aspect of building trust during change management is nurturing a sense of emotional trust. This type of trust extends beyond contractual agreements and concentrates on the relationships between team members and their leaders. By demonstrating empathy and understanding, leaders can create an environment where employees feel secure in expressing their concerns and ideas, ultimately leading to a more resilient organization.


Emphasizing the significance of trust-building strategies during change management can lead to more successful outcomes and a stronger, more resilient organization. Investing in developing trust and engagement among employees, business leaders can create a work environment that fosters collaboration, innovation, and growth. Building trust during change management is a multifaceted and ongoing process that requires effective communication, emotional intelligence, and empathy. Leaders can enhance employee engagement and promote a thriving company culture by understanding the factors influencing trust levels and implementing strategies to foster a supportive environment. Organizational trust ensures the success of change initiatives and contributes to a resilient and adaptable organization capable of navigating the challenges of an ever-changing business landscape.


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