Leadership tips:building a trust company culture

Leadership tips: building a trust company culture

Paul J. Zak, Harvard researcher and Professor of Economics, Psychology and Management, dedicated two decades studying the connection between trust, leadership, and organizational performance. The results of his research demonstrated that employees at companies with a high trust culture:

1. Enjoyed their work 60% more.

2. Were 70% more aligned with company goals.

3. Felt 66% closer to coworkers.

4. Experienced 40% less stress at work.

5. Earned 17% more than those at low-trust organizations.

To the leaders and aspiring leaders that are reading this, are your management methods conducive to trust? Does the culture at work inspire cohesion and mutual respect between leadership and employees?

Here are a few tips to help you develop a leadership style that can foster a trust-based company culture.

refer to other article:mentor work | covey on trust | culture of trust 

Leadership building blocks - character and competence

First and foremost, you have to become a high-character person. Honesty, humility, empathy, open-mindedness, etc., these are the essential qualities — good character from a genuine place matters.

However, we can't ignore the competence part of the equation. After all, you might think a colleague is a super nice chap, but you can't trust that person if he or she can't do the job.

The opposite is also true. A colleague might have all the skillsets for a specific task, but it will not be a great working relationship if the person is calculating and dishonest.

To develop a trust company culture, the leaders must possess both integrity and the knowledge and skills for the position.

A company culture that says "good job"

Many Asian cultures are slow with praise and compliments. Recognition of a job well done, especially immediately after it happens and in public, is highly impactful in trust-building. So remember to always give credit where credit is due.

Manage with clear and frequent communication

A trust-based culture at work is a two-way street. Leadership has to trust employees, and employees believe the leaders have their well-being at heart. Clear and frequent communication is, therefore, crucial to trust, loyalty and engagement. Communicate what the new strategic direction will look like. What does it mean? Why is the company doing it? And what is the impact on their job responsibilities? When a person sees the bigger picture, they feel more secure, which is beneficial to trust.

Showing weakness is not weak

A good leader understands that he can't do everything alone. He or she lets employees know they are highly valuable, and their contributions make the organization great. In a trust-based company culture, the leader has the humility to demonstrate vulnerability and delegate appropriately. This makes employees feel safe and comfortable as well as valued and trusted.

Walk the talk

A creator of a trust-based company culture needs to make the first moves. Practice the positive behaviors that you want to see in your employees. Be the person that you want them to be.

Walk the talk, then others will follow. Here are a few behaviors that build the character traits for trust-based company culture.

1. Talk straight

2. Show respect and loyalty

3. Extend trust

4. Be competent and accountable

5. Admit mistakes

6. Listen with open-mindedness

7. Improve self

8. Communicate expectation and goals

Depending on your position and job responsibility, you will need to individualize the mix of these behaviors. Being a straight shooter means you have to balance it with better listening skills. If you are willing to admit your mistakes, make sure that you also learn from the missteps and self improve.

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