How high is the trust quotient in your company? If it’s low, you are among the 47% of American companies currently losing significant dollars and competitive edge.
How does trust affect company performance?
- 74% less stress
- 106% more energy at work
- 50% higher productivity
- 13% fewer sick days
- 76% more engagement
- 29% more satisfaction with their lives
- 40% less burnout
And those factors have everything to do with individual, team, and company performance.
So now what? How do you raise the trust quotient in your organization?
Here are some important steps to building greater trust.
1. Create shared agreement.
You’ve set company goals, but has your workforce integrated these to support them? When was the last time you had your executive team review their areas to ensure these are aligned with the company-wide goals? Do the metrics and milestones support the goals? Are there any conflicting processes or practices that might silo teams from one another?
If so, ferret these out ruthlessly. Otherwise, you are pitting teams against one another, thus causing mistrust to grow.
2. Respect shared accountability.
What are your practices for setting expectations, reporting on progress, and measuring against your projected success?
If any of these are missing, this will create questions and assumptions about the work of others. In the absence of information, people will create stories to make meaning. Unless you have a regular communication process that keeps everyone in the loop, someone may be assuming others are sleeping on the job – or worse. Assumptions are deadly because they erode trust.
3. Be honest.
Do you foresee you will be unable to deliver a product to a customer? Mentor honesty to your company. Make the difficult call to let the customer know as soon as you are aware. Your customer may not be pleased, but will appreciate your integrity.
Once this happens, re-examine your processes and practices to see what needs adjusting so that this is not a trend.
Are you in the planning stages of a downsizing or merger? Plan out your communication plan to your employees. Delivering tough messages is unpleasant, but saying nothing and surprising people is a trust-breaker.
4. Treat mistakes as points of learning.
Model this for your workforce.
Admitting you were wrong about something and sharing what you have learned from it shows others they can do so, as well.
The quickest way to cut creativity and innovation to the quick is to support a culture of perfection. If your employees get the message that perfection is king, they will play it safe by under-committing and performing at a safe, sub-par level because they don’t trust the company to regard them in the same light if they make a mistake.
Celebrate mistakes. It means you support learning, which is part of a successful future.
5. Facilitate “whole-person” growth.
Are you losing employees when they find promotion opportunities outside of your company?
It may be time to chart out the employee journey, with clear tracks, and supportive education and growth opportunities for both personal and professional development.
The organization of the future will keep learning and development as top priority, bringing meaning and fulfillment to its employee base. This creates a trust in them that you have their interests in mind.
When have you experienced a lack of trust at your company? How did you approach remedying this?
DO OTHERS REALLY TRUST YOU?
Learn the two vital parts to trust and how they can help you become a more highly effective leader.
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Patti Cotton helps executives optimize their effectiveness in leading self, others, and the enterprise. Her areas of focus include confidence, leadership style, executive presence, effective communication, succession planning, and masterful execution. With over 25 years of leadership experience, both stateside and abroad, Patti works with individuals, teams, and organizations across industries, providing executive consulting, leadership development, succession planning, change management, and conflict resolution. She is also an experienced Fortune 500 speaker. For more information on how Patti Cotton can help you and your organization, click here.