The ability to do something successfully or efficiently
In the context of employee trust, competence can be explained as the ability, dedication and intention of the organisation to contribute to the success of its hero.
Organisational competencies are often used to describe the elements of the organisation that offer competitive advantage in the marketplace. It generally includes product capabilities, access to capital, access to customers through sales and marketing, talent, and innovation capabilities.
Competencies are not only essential to the competitive advantage, but also to employee trust. Every individual, irrespective of their level within the organisation, will assess whether the organisation has the competencies to deliver what is required for the individual’s goals to be achieved. This often happens unconsciously. Nevertheless, it strongly influences the trust that an individual has in their employer.
Competence issues exist everywhere in the organisation. However, the most obvious issue can be recognised each time someone states ‘because that is the way we do it here’. Nothing shows a larger incompetence than an explanation based on habit.
A less obvious competence issue can be found in the external perception of an organisation. If your customers, the press, or friends and family of the employee are negative about your products or company, this will negatively influence the perception of competence.
The perception of competence is the most challenging to improve, as there are so many aspects related to it. Nevertheless, there are three things you can start doing today:
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Fairness is experienced by everyone in the organisation, and it's crucial to employee trust.
Identification influences the trust perception and will mitigate downsides of a lack of trust.