Employer Branding

How to Build Employee Trust with Honest Career Conversations

Is there an employer and employee disconnect in the workplace? LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman thinks that is the case and recently penned a book about this called The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age.

The issue is that companies don’t foster open and honest career conversations. Therefore Hoffman argues that it’s time that we, as leaders, rebuild trust with our teams by having open and honest career conversations to help our teams unlock their career potential.

 “I have found that one of the best ways to create unique value for my employees is to help them plan for the life they aspire to lead after they leave my team one day”. – Mike Gamson, LinkedIn’s SVP Global Solutions

In the deck below, created by LinkedIn’s own artist in residence Brett Wallace, there are 7 tips for conducting these honest career conversations.

Main takeaways:

  • There’s a dishonest conversation happening at work, and it’s holding both managers and employees back, ignoring this simply limits everyone’s potential.
  • Companies presume lifelong loyalty and therefore don’t foster open career conversations with employees, as a result employees hide their true career aspirations and may find it easier to leave the business to find a better opportunity than actually have a chat with their boss.
  • Encourage team members to think of their careers as tours of duty that benefit both them and the company. A tour of duty is an agreement between an employer and employee that has a specific mission with a realistic time horizon and mutual benefit.
  • Have the courage to discuss with your team that someday they may choose a career path outside of your company. These honest career conversations are necessary for building trust. (See more at 10 Career-Change Questions to Ask Yourself Before Jumping Ship.)
  • Discuss how you can work together to transform their career, and the company, while they are with you. Model honesty with your employees by being open about your own dreams and aspirations.
  • Help your people make the best career decisions for where they want to go – even if it means they pursue another path. Bear in mind people leave and sometimes come back, sometimes tell others to join your organisation.

RELATED: How to Keep Your Best Employees

By Jörgen Sundberg

Founder of Undercover Recruiter & CEO of Link Humans, home of The Employer Brand Index.