Despite the misdeeds of former CEOs, here’s how companies can start to rebuild trust with employees
The recession-plagued landscape is littered with disgraced CEOs who left ruined companies and bitter employees in their wakes.
Dick Fuld, ex-CEO of Lehman Brothers, pocketed a half-billion dollars while the firm went bankrupt. Stanley O’Neal walked away from Merrill Lynch with what critics called a “golden parachute” worth more than $160 million while the business collapsed.
The list of former executives who have left their companies in shambles is long and the damage they have inflicted is often severe.
How does a company survive the trauma of an unpleasant leadership transition? Communication can’t — and shouldn’t — whitewash the misdeeds of a wayward CEO, but it can aid the healing process.
It all starts with the company’s culture. The degree to which communication can help a company overcome a difficult leadership transition depends on the company’s communication culture. If the organization historically has lacked openness and candor, employees are unlikely to trust a new leader, even if that person has a reputation for honesty.