A Millennial Working Environment: Management by Trust at Protiviti

Written By: Mahmoud Mansi

Human Capital Consultant ~ Protiviti, Dubai Office

If you were/are a manager, what method shall you use to provide leadership, engagement, and development to your employees? I have read many publications regarding this issue, yet I have witnessed the majority of organizations applying management through being too strict in details that do not affect the productivity of the team, while ignoring the game-changing details that would make all the difference to team members and to the organization. You can see what I mean.

There are many issues that are addressed in contemporary HR conferences: employee loyalty, happiness at work, establishing intelligent communication between employees and managers, etc. When these issues remain slogans with no powerful implementation the result will be what is seen every day: high turnover, loss of human talent utilization, less innovation in final product, etc. At Protiviti, a Risk Consulting & Internal Audit Firm, a very simple managerial solution is offered to handle all these issues: TRUST.

Establishing trust between an employee and a manager may take months or even years to be well-established. Trust provides employees with maturity, confidence and leadership. However, the word “trust” could have various reflections. What does trust really mean?

1- Trust in Development:

At Protiviti, there is a relationship of trust from day one, where the employee is given freedom to create his/her own “individual development plan”, and the responsibility of the managers is to coach and mentor employees to accomplish their own development plan. Here comes the first meaning of “trust” where the employer trusts the strategic thinking of employees, and trusts the choices they make to develop themselves.

2- Trust in Training:

Besides the coaching and offline training, there is a secured online learning platform where employees optionally select the courses they wish to attain. This way self-learning becomes a very essential tool for Protiviti members.

3- Trust in Work:

From the first week, and sometimes from the first day, you are trusted to meet a client, conduct a research and lead. The employer’s trust here originates from two sources; the first is trusting the recruitment team in selecting the perfect candidates, and the second is in trusting the employee’s capabilities that he/she is completely accomplished to empower the trust relationship with the client.

4- Trust in Performance Management:

In many organizations, performance appraisals are used to “control” employees, or it is used as a tool of documentation. When a manager and an employee set the criteria together and discuss the goals during the year, it is a new level of trust. Measuring performance becomes an interesting and collaborative partnership where both the manager and the employee share the same outcome results; personal development, professional development, department development, product development, and eventually self-fulfillment and appreciation. During the performance appraisal process managers utilize employee capabilities and feedbacks as a reliable asset that would lead to actual performance development. Is this not the point behind measuring performance; to develop the entire process and not only the employee?

5- Trust from Managers:

One of the best feelings an employee could have is having the manager believing in him/her, and that the manager wants what is best for the employee on a personal and professional level. In Protiviti, managers are too humble and smart that employees can sometimes feel they are their colleagues, while leveraging a greater mutual respect. This is their management style where managers trust in the abilities, questions, opinions and style of their team.

Edited By: Mona Timor Shehata
Acknowledgements: Sanjay Bhattacharya for the inspiration & Sanjeev Agarwal for the encouragement.