Trust. That invisible force that makes things feel just right. With trust in your workplace teams are more productive, meetings run efficiently, and you work with autonomy.  But when trust is running low, especially during times of change, everyone has an eye on the exit. Why should an organization fight for high trust levels?  Any advice for leaders to increase trust?

For some, trust is an experience that is difficult to put into words.

Trust is a feeling of

  • Safety from being able to rely upon a person,
  • Satisfaction from cooperating with and experiencing teamwork with a group,
  • Confidence when taking thoughtful risks, and
  • Clarity from experiencing believable communication.

Is Trust Worth Fighting For?

What’s the ROI to an organization with high trust?  Research shows companies with high trust have greater efficiency, productivity, increased collaboration and less resources spent on organizational chaos.

From Lea Brovadani, The Trust Architect

We can measure the ROI of trust by examining the financial performance of high trust companies. In research that has been done around the world, high trust organizations out perform their competitors and score better profits by a factor of three. In addition to the financial advantage, important outcomes of trust in organizations are:

  • Employees stay and are more engaged (better retention)
  • Creativity flourishes
  • Reputation of the company is enhanced.

Click here to Meet Lea Brovedani, Trust Architect, Canada
Featured Speaker EQ Summit 17

3 Actionable Steps For Leaders to Increase Trust 

Tip # 1 Give it To Earn it  

As Josh Freedman, CEO Six Seconds explainsTrust is two- way street.”  Trust is built between people when it is extended and reciprocated.  But you can’t just say “trust me” to others and expect to receive it. Josh shares “Leaders need to give trust others to in order to earn their trust.” 

Dr. Abdulhai M. Megdad, CEO of Mega agrees.  He advises to leaders, “give staff power to to take decisions and responsibility for their projects, and trust will develop.” This process builds trust from the ground up as you are counting on them at the same time they are counting on you.

Creating a culture of trust is exactly where doing good and doing well coincide. –Paul Zak 

Tip # 2 Put Purpose at the center

Is your team in alignment on the mission or purpose of your work?  Does leadership spend time articulating and enrolling people to support the big idea or is most energy spent on the small stuff?  Teams that are invested in the larger purpose have greater levels of trust. 

 Lara Williams, Director of Momentum4 advises, “to build trust, ensure your people understand the big picture of the organisation, the vision that you have and what part they play in that vision.

Tip # 2 Be Trustworthy

Perhaps the most direct tip of all. Building trust comes from behaviours and words that are trustworthy.  Follow through on your promises, be consistent in your actions. 

Dr Yasmeen Al Bulushi,  Dean of Muscat College, encourages leaders to “practice and understand EQ explicitly, in other words, walk your talk. Communication is crucial, expand yours to be honest and transparent. Sharing information with teams increases everyone’s collaboration and makes the organization more effective.”

Click here to meet Dr Yasmeen Al Bulushi Leadership Catalyst, Oman
Featured Speaker EQ Summit 17

 Trust gets your organization “Change Ready”

Trust in an organization is like a stretchy rubber band.  If trust extends throughout the organization before change happens when communication is high and relationships are solid. During times of change, is the flex factor that allows teams to be more resilient and adaptable.  Teams are able to spring back into productivity because they have trust to connect them.  Lara Williams urges leaders to “exercise trust during times of change–let people know as and when things change, not after the event.”  When leaders share the burden of change– enrolling others in transitions gives more people opportunities to be stakeholders and invested in trusting relationships.  Facing an uncertain future, building trust in organizations is one of the best ways to be prepared for change and growth.


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