In our last blog, we shared a blog post that described a fictional company where trust was so bad, employees were too afraid to report a problem that could have prevented the building from crumbling to the ground.

By the Numbers
Trust is an important topic that affects every type of organization’s level of success. After all, according to Paul J. Zak and his Neuroscience of Trust study, compared with people at low-trust companies, people at high-trust companies report 74% less stress, 106% more energy at work, 50% higher productivity, 13% fewer sick days, 76% more engagement, 29% more satisfaction with their lives and 40% less burnout. Isn’t this what every company should strive to achieve?

Here, we are taking a deeper dive into the specifics of what actions break trust – as well as the activities that build a strong foundation of trust.

What Destroys Trust
You know it’s happening in companies across the world. Greed and power can fuel actions that unfortunately break down the crucial communication that is needed for an organization to thrive. SHRM points out some important mistakes that can destroy trust:

  • Avoiding conflict: When you discourage disagreement, open discussions cannot happen. Decisions aren’t made or they’re based on incomplete information. Often times, the urge to avoid friction can be well-intended, but the company and its employees are usually impacted negatively.
  • Breaking promises: When you tell your employees you’re going to do something but then don’t follow through, you’re destroying trust. What makes you think they’ll believe you the next time?
  • Focusing on compliance: Workplaces are often so fast-paced, it’s difficult for the boss to always be involved or to predict what will happen. When employees are included in the “end-game” management should trust them to do the right thing. This “intent-based leadership” is the very concept David Marquet successfully applied and wrote about in his book, “Turn the Ship Around.”
  • Failing to communicate: You might be reluctant to share bad news, but it’s always better to tell the truth than be silence. As they say, it will come back to bite you in the end.
  • Assuming Trust: A trusting relationship doesn’t just happen. It takes work on the part of the manager, the employee and teammates.

What Helps to Build Trust
SHRM again outlines some fantastic points, which are recommended by David Horsager, CEO of  Trust Edge Leadership Institute. These key points can be used to inspire trust:

  • Clarity: “People trust the clear, and they distrust the ambiguous,” Horsager says. Give employees a clear vision of where you want to go and what role they will play.
  • Compassion: Leaders who care for more than just themselves inspire trust. If they show they care about their employees, customers and the impact the company is making on the world, it demonstrates depth that inspires trust.
  • Character: This means choosing what is right rather than what initially appears to be easy.
  • Competency: Stay fresh, relevant and capable.
  • Commitment: Employers (and employees for that matter) that stick with each other in the face of adversity will reciprocate.
  • Connection: Cultivate strong relationships with workers by asking questions, finding common ground and using open communication.
  • Contribution: Make a difference in the organization, produce results and be a team player.
  • Consistency: What we do all the time shapes what others expect of us. If a manager consistently uses a measured, calm approach to conflict, they will build a reputation of being reliable and fair.

Are you ready to increase the level of trust within your own organization? We can help guide you strengthen your workforce and have greater overall success. Contact us to learn more.