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  • Writer's pictureDavid Harrison

Trust, Empowerment and Accountability

Updated: Jun 1, 2018

How much do you trust the people you work with and do your management trust you? Simple questions and easy answers, particularly if you are in charge of HR policy and screening. From personal experience, the most optimal and successful companies have the highest levels of trust for their employees and, of course, checks and balances are put in place to monitor for the purposes of prudent management.

However, there is one barometer which indicates how far that trust can be taken and it typically revolves around the ability to make payments.

After over 20 years in the payments industry, you become familiar with logical lines of questioning from prospects and clients who are keen to make improvements to their processes. As a result, the discussion can focus on a positive outcome. And then there are also the ones that don’t. Fortunately, in the majority of engagements, the former scenario has typically been the case. However, one meeting to support a client with one of their customers included a sense of déjà vu, and not in a good way.

The tone was set by the key stakeholder when the subject of commercial cards was raised. “I don’t trust our people enough to give them a card!” There are various answers to that one. The HR Director was not present, which was a shame, so I decided to ask how this apparent flaw in their choice of employees and lack of trust impacted the wider business. If you have employees you cannot trust to use a payment solution that can deliver an audit trail that records who is buying, from whom, how much and when, how does that translate into them being trusted with company laptops, mobiles, vehicles, the reputation of the organisation and access to internal data and systems?

If it was a throw away remark to deflect from the card discussion, there are many proofs of concept to reference in a more comprehensive reply. However, it wasn’t, they meant it. Thinking about how this view would translate into the ability of the organisation to operate effectively, this fundamental lack of trust will define its potential to leverage the potential and capabilities of its employees, and that is disappointing.

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