The culture of trust. How do we build it?

(source: IMSA Search Global Partners)

The only thing more complicated than creating a trust culture in your company is developing it while working remotely. Nevertheless, leaders need to join forces and introduce more trust in the work environment ASAP.

Many of us are still working remotely. Some people have become so attached to the home office that they don’t plan to go back. Never. According to Gallup: “Five in 10 workers say they don’t want to work in an office anymore”. That means that your team needs to learn how to trust each other. Otherwise, the plagues of stress, micromanagement, and disruption in work-life balance will appear. In other words, your company needs to develop a culture of trust right away.

A trust culture brings profits
For more than 30 years, Great Place to Work has studied organisations with high-trust cultures. This organisation’s report, “The Business Case for a High-Trust Culture” shows that: “There is a strong connection between a high-trust culture and business success. In fact, the connection is so strong that strategy-minded leaders, who care deeply about the financial well-being of their business, should make building a high-trust culture a top priority.”

According to the report, high-trust culture results in two to three times greater stock market returns than the market average. But there is more. Turnover rates are 50 percent lower than industry competitors, and levels of innovation, customer and patient satisfaction, employee engagement, and organizational agility increases.

Data shows that developing a trust culture in a business may be one of the most profitable decisions CEOs can make. Nevertheless, most of the leaders still struggle with building the right habits. Here are some pointers.

Building a trust culture. Three golden rules:
Trust is incredibly important. Nevertheless, it comes with some basic principles leaders need to follow. Here are IMSA Search’s three golden rules:

Trust is a process, not a decision. Shifting to the culture of trust needs to take some time. There is no such thing as “instant trust,” and the worst thing leaders can do is decide that they won’t supervise anyone anymore starting tomorrow. Undoubtedly, this attitude will result in annoying micromanagement with questioning employees’ every move and focusing on what’s going wrong. Give yourself time and don’t throw yourself into deep water, or the stress will force you to be more controlling than ever. Take one baby step at a time and…

Build trust by studying employees’ past performance. Confidence in your worker’s performance should be based on facts. As Gallup experts explain: “managers can learn about their employees’ intrinsic motivation by studying a person’s past performance. Then, managers can use that knowledge to work alongside each team member as individuals discover their new, best means to high productivity.” This approach lets you understand your team in a more profound way and trust each member as an outcome.

Trust works both ways. According to The Center for Leadership Studies: “Leaders who have the trust of their employees are more likely to drive change that impacts organisational performance.” If you want to build a trust culture in your company, start by showing that your team can trust you. Remember about:

Being authentic and trustworthy. Especially now, being as transparent as possible for your team and stakeholders is crucial. Everyone wants to understand what is happening in the company and how changes will impact them. Delivering bad news isn’t easy, but shortcuts won’t bring any good.

Listen and be supportive. As experts from The Center for Leadership Studies write in its report: “When employees feel heard, they feel valued. Leaders must take the time to actively listen to their employees and take their ideas into consideration.”

Remember about equality. All team members should be treated as equals. Otherwise, they will feel rejected. There are no excuses for breaking this rule.

Keep your word. Don’t make empty promises. Never. Employees will notice and just stop believing you.

Transparent and impartial man-management is crucial in developing a trust-based work culture. Integrity and honesty are equally important in percolating trust culture from top to bottom – concludes Rajaram Agrawal, Managing Director at IMSA India. Publicatiedatum: 07 april 2021