Trust. You know when you have trust; you know when you don’t have trust. In last month’s Priority survey, more than half the respondents thought trust to be the most crucial element for team performance. Yet, what is trust and how is trust usefully defined for the workplace? Can you build trust when it doesn’t exist? How do you maintain and build upon the trust you may currently have in your workplace? These are important questions for today’s rapidly changing world.
Trust forms the foundation for effective communication, employee retention, and employee motivation and contribution of discretionary energy, the extra effort that people voluntarily invest in work.
Trust is telling the truth, even when it is difficult, and being truthful, authentic, and trustworthy in your dealings with customers and staff.
You cannot always control the trust you experience in your larger organization, but you can act in ways that promote trust within your immediate work environment. The following are 10 ways to create and preserve a trusting work environment:
Hire and promote people, who are capable of forming positive, trusting interpersonal relationships with people who report to them, to supervisory positions.
Develop the skills of all employees and especially those of current supervisors and people desiring promotion, in interpersonal relationship building and effectiveness.
Keep staff members truthfully informed. Provide as much information as you can comfortably divulge as soon as possible in any situation.
Expect supervisors to act with integrity and keep commitments. If you cannot keep a commitment, explain what is happening in the situation without delay. Current behavior and actions are perceived by employees as the basis for predicting future behavior. Supervisors who act as if they are worthy of trust will more likely be followed with fewer complaints.
Confront hard issues in a timely fashion. If an employee has excessive absences or spends work time wandering around, it is important to confront the employee about these issues. Other employees will watch and trust you more.
Protect the interest of all employees in a work group. Do not talk about absent employees, nor allow others to place blame, call names, or point fingers.
Display competence in supervisory and other work tasks. Know what you are talking about, and if you don’t know—admit it.
Listen with respect and full attention. Exhibit empathy and sensitivity to the needs of staff members.
Take thoughtful risks to improve service and products for the customer.
If you are a supervisor or a team member, set high expectations and act as if you believe staff members are capable of living up to them.
When trust exists in an organization or in a relationship, almost everything else is easier and more comfortable to achieve.
Trust is built and maintained by many small actions over time. Marsha Sinetar, the author, said, “Trust is not a matter of technique, but of character; we are trusted because of our way of being, not because of our polished exteriors or our expertly crafted communications.”So fundamentally, trust, and here is the secret I promised in the title of this article, is the cornerstone, the foundation, for everything you'd like your organization to be now and for everything you'd like it to become in the future. Trust Matters-lay the groundwork well.You can always trust the Priority Curriculum to deliver first-class training for you and your organization!