I’ve been part of several conversations recently where trust issues have surfaced. Some have been positive, reflecting leaders who understand and embrace the benefits of a high trust culture. And others have swung to the other side of the spectrum where lack of trust is creating cracks in the organization.
Why is trust so important?
People do better work when they are trusted. Think about it: if you are constantly looking behind you wondering if someone is going to stab you in the back, you can’t possibly do your best work.
Trust creates an environment where employees work from the place of competence rather than from a place of fear. When people feel trusted, they are more comfortable making decisions and taking normal day-to-day risks on the job.
Your employees can professionally develop more organically in their positions, which ultimately benefits the company.
Higher morale emerges from a high-trust environment. People feel good about working for the company and that positivity spreads among employees.
Lack of trust results in opposite outcomes: people are reticent to make the simplest decisions, they are stymied in their growth, and they are depressed or anxious about their jobs.
Leaders who understand the correlation between high trust and strong results should never want an environment that risks this dynamic. When distrust seeps into a company and the fissures start, it’s difficult to undo the damage.
Probably most important, though, is for leaders of low-trust companies to acknowledge that this is a problem and take the necessary strides to reverse course. Your company may be getting by just fine, but why not create the foundation to make it great?
Header image is by Andrea Picquadio of Pexels.