The authors state that a good place for managers to start the process of building trust is by becoming more visible to employees. Getting out of the office and mingling with employees is a simple solution to a very common trust problem. One of our favorite quotes from the book is: “The things that keep us in our offices are nowhere as important as open communications with employees.” We’re sure many owners and managers in the grain and feed business practice this strategy — but it can certainly be improved. Making a commitment to spending an hour or two each week talking to your truck drivers, feed grinders and grain receiving personnel can pay big dividends. Talking to them on their turf — in their area of operations — allows you to not only show interest, but see things from their perspective.
Perhaps a workable approach here would be to make a list of 20 to 30 questions, and go through them (a couple at a time) each time you visit their work area. Questions can focus on their physical job, or can be more probing regarding their relationship with you and your business. Example questions might be:
- Are there any problems or bottlenecks that are causing issues for you?
- Who is your favorite customer to deal with and why?