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Building Trust Within an Organization

Jan 19, 2021 7:30:00 AM

Building your company culture on a foundation of trust can have a morale boosting and positive financial impact on your business. Employees that have trust in their leaders and organization work faster, harder, and are happy to do so. But how do you begin to build that foundation of trust within your organization?

Trust the Numbers

According to Tolero Solutions, 45% of employees say that a lack of trust in their leadership is the biggest issue impacting their work performance. Employees don’t want to work hard for leaders or organizations they feel don’t have their best interest in mind or are being dishonest with them.

If you took roughly 45% of your current workforce and cut their production in half, where would that leave your business? And if you’re only getting half the performance from your current workforce, think about how much more your business could accomplish if your employees felt more trusted or inspired.

According to Know Your Team, more trust correlates to higher revenue. Over 75% of people surveyed say that trust affects their performance to a high degree. And when employees don’t trust the organization, their chances of being engaged drop to 1 in 12. We can’t express the importance of creating an organization with a foundation of trust and a culture that inspires it.

Ways to Build a Trusting Foundation

There are several ways to create a culture and foundation of trust. Many of them are simple things that all companies can implement:

Make Leadership Available

One of the simplest ways to build trust in your organization is for those in leadership roles to spend time with those who aren’t. When VPs and CEOs are unavailable or locked away in offices all day, it can make employees feel like they aren’t valued. Having leadership address the company in meetings, townhalls, and even just walking around and conversing with employees goes a long way in creating a trusting culture.

Mistakes Are Learning Opportunities

Encouragement and learning are far better trust building mechanisms than berating and shaming. If your employees make mistakes, treat it as a learning opportunity andshow them how to do the task properly. Also, acknowledge your employees triumphs as well. If all they hear from leadership is about their mistakes, it does the opposite of creating a trusting culture.

Accepting and Owning Mistakes

We’re all human; we make mistakes. If a situation comes where leadership makes a mistake, your employees will 100% appreciate the acknowledgment and owning of the mistake. What won’t build trust is deferring or sweeping it under the rug. When employees see that leadership can make mistakes and own them, it creates a more human culture that everyone in the organization can understand and get behind.

Share the Roadmap

This is one of the best ways for an organization to inspire trust. Have your leadership team share big picture plans with your employees and ask them how they think the company should get there. You might just come across a million-dollar idea you haven’t thought of.

Trust Exercises

There are a number of great team exercises that help build trust within an organization. Games like Minefield and a Scavenger Hunt can help employees and teams build trust. You can find a helpful list of trust-building games here.

Walk-the-Walk

In our article, Trust: The Foundation of Any Relationship, we discuss putting your company’s message into action. If you preach honesty with your customers, and your company makes decisions based on this value, even if it’s difficult or not the best financial decision for the business (like giving customers money back for a product), it shows your employees that your company isn’t just about talk, rather a company of integrity and trustworthiness.

A Key Takeaway

Communicate with your employees! Communication is a key component to successful relationships not only in business but in everyday life. When there are open lines of communication within your organization, a company can build a foundation of trust. And as we’ve seen, employees who trust their organization work harder and are happier.

In the new year, each of these articles will be made available through our website’s resource center, along with any important product updates or announcements for you through our webpage.

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