Great workplaces have a specific focus that multiplies the likelihood of success. Achieving it is more effortless for everyone through prioritizing trust. They reap the benefits of this commitment through thriving, engaged, and innovative employees vested in the company, leading to profitability.

And research attests to this.

For more than 30 years, Great Place to Work® has studied the relationship between a high-trust culture and a company’s overall success, and they’ve identified several compelling business outcomes. Companies with trust-based cultures typically enjoy: Stock market returns roughly two to three times greater than the market average… Turnover rates are approximately 50 percent lower than industry competitors… Increased levels of innovation, customer and patient satisfaction, employee engagement, organizational agility, and more.[i] 

How do companies achieve trust? It’s as simple as one, two, three. Managers need to understand the following: 

  1. Context: This is what you say in the right tone, setting, and circumstance, such that it can be fully appreciated, assessed, and accepted by the employee. Whether compliment or improvement, your comments will be specific and appropriate.
  1. Timing: When you say it, it is crucial for attaining positive results. Praise is often best served in public. In contrast, improvement conversations are best settled privately. And more often than not, correction should be taken care of when small—not once it becomes a hungry, angry monster eating up any productivity or damaging relationships.
  1. Tact: How you say it! Keep in mind that each of your employees is an individual. Foundational to grace in any conversation is being receiver centric—craft your messages to be personal. Employees have diverse levels of sensitivity and approachability. When you don’t consider this, your dialogue often splatters hit-or-miss, rarely landing with clarity.

Now that senior leaders and managers have gained insight into building trust with their workforce, all should be well and good, as employees are at the heart of a company winning in the marketplace.

Not so fast.

There’s the employee’s receptivity.

You, as an employee, get to choose whether to deflect trust signals leaders send you, but why would you want to do that?

In all probability, you already know how inspiring it is to be trusted by senior leadership. Think back. Remember, when you last worked in a trusting environment. What did it engender in you? Was it more confidence, the freedom to initiate ideas, security, a bolder spirit, empowerment, or other emotions that had you experiencing fulfillment and satisfaction at work?p

Securing a culture of trust requires reciprocal behavior.

It is equally as urgent for the workforce to exhibit a trusting relationship upward. Are you ready for five tips that have you adding trust to your work environment?

  • Genuinely listen to your leaders with the perspective of first seeing the “Yes.” And then and only then advance issues of concern or improvement that will aid in the project being a grand success.
  • Give your boss and leaders grace. After all, no one is perfect. Instead of gathering around the lunch table, picking apart ideas from the top with others in a spiraling down manner, be the one turning it around into a spiraling up Focus on what’s being done right.
  • Show appreciation to your senior leadership for their contributions. They’re humans, too, and enjoy receiving acknowledgment as much as you do.
  • Follow through with your commitments and if by any chance something does go wrong, admit what went awry sooner than later.
  • Suppose you begin doubting your leadership’s direction and efficacy. In that case, you have two choices: start looking for another job or make an attitude adjustment of your thinking and your nonverbal body language because anything less sends out non-trust signals. This latter emotional response ultimately harms your career prospects.

Trust establishes an environment for everyone to succeed and to be a significant part of something bigger than themselves. Isn’t that a win for all?

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