3 Steps to Build Trust & Business Value

Do you trust your boss, colleagues and employees? If you’re the boss, do your co-workers and team trust you? The answer has a direct, monetary impact on the business bottom line. Here are three ways to build trust and at the same time, improve business performance.

3 Steps to Build Trust & Business Value

EY’s recent global study on trust in the workplace indicated the organizational consequences of a lack of trust are real. They include higher turnover, reduced quality, loss of productivity and difficulty recruiting because of bad PR by disgruntled employees. The report also shows “…less than half of full-time workers say they have “a great deal of trust” in these groups (employers 46%, bosses 49% and colleagues 49%.)”

Those in leadership positions should recognize that trust does not automatically come with the management roles we occupy. Trust must be earned. And trust has a definite financial impact on profits, productivity and marketplace goodwill. Here are three steps to help leaders build trust and positively improve performance.

Step 1: Take Responsibility & Share Recognition.

This is the one of the most important, often overlooked, steps to build trust. Leaders who take a little bit more than their share of the blame and a little bit less than their share of the credit impress us. Too often though, human nature leads us to do just the opposite. We take more credit than we deserve and shirk our share of the responsibility. Leaders build trust in greater measure when they are accountable for their actions and when they recognize the value and contributions of their people.

Step 2: Communicate with Your Employees.

Trusted leaders regularly engage in open, honest, transparent dialogue that values the ideas and points of view of our employees. An employee may not get everything they ask for or suggest. But giving them an opportunity to be heard goes a long way to build trust. And don’t neglect communicating timely feedback with your people. You won’t build trust by “saving up” good or bad news until performance review time. Show employees you care about their success and development. Provide correction or encouragement in real time. This tells them you have their interests as well as the company’s in mind.

For more ideas on building trust through communication, take a look at We Need to Talk.

Step 3: Share Your Feelings, Don’t Show Them.

Please be careful with this one. and understand I said, “share your feelings,” not “show your feelings.” Don’t assume your employees understand what you are thinking or how you are feeling. They can’t and they shouldn’t be expected to.

You are the leader — step out of your comfort zone and respectfully tell your people about the emotions you are experiencing. Rather than yelling or responding sarcastically, you might say “This disappoints (aggravates, angers) me” or “I am very frustrated and confused by your actions.”

Organizations, their leaders and their employees are a team. Leaders of successful, profitable, organizations understand that when they build trust, they are building value for ALL the team…employees, stakeholders and customers. Building trust builds value — that’s the bottom line.

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Phillip Van Hooser
Author: Phillip Van Hooser
Phillip Van Hooser, CSP, CPAE is committed to helping organizations transform their business outcomes by transforming the talent of their people. He is an award-winning keynote speaker and author on leadership, service and communication. His popular book, “Willie's Way: 6 Secrets for Wooing, Wowing and Winning Customers and Their Loyalty” re-releases September 3. Connect with Phil on LinkedIn and Facebook.

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