Trust: The Critical Ingredient to Ignite a Conscientious Workforce

At the end of the day, we know your people are your most valuable asset. Employees who feel challenged by their work, who are excited by their work, who know how their work contributes to the organization’s goals, who are passionate about what their organization stands for, and who feel motivated to innovate and improve, are your most valuable asset and will build a trusted brand from the inside out.

We understand that your people make up your organization’s competitive advantage.  Employees who feel rewarded for their work, who are treated with dignity and respect, and who feel confident about their ability to perform their job functions are the employees who will create, innovate, and evangelize.   These are the people who drive results and impact the bottom line.  We don’t underestimate the impact leadership has on creating a trusting culture, as leaders have the power to shape  culture, for good or bad..  A culture with a DNA of trust is a culture of passionate, productive people that will outperform your competitors.   

High trust organizations are also high performance organizations.  Employees who trust create enormous value; however, trust works on a continuum.  It can take years to build and can be broken in an instant. Our research has confirmed, like many others have discovered, that building trust in a workplace improves tangible business results including cost containment, revenue growth, and customer loyalty.  Our Trust and Capacity model™ provides a new framework for organizations to create a high performance organization that will endure continued rapid evolution of the workforce.  The Trust and Capacity model™ identifies  the attractors that compel people to want to work for an organization and what the organization must provide for employees to be most productive.

As our workforce has evolved from the industrial age to the information age over the last 50 years, the dynamics of what creates a high performing organization has also shifted.   Some people may remember organizations focusing primarily on being safe.  In the 1980’s the focus shifted to include elements of satisfaction.  Since the mid 1990’s the focus has been on getting employees more engaged.  As employees continue to become more conscientious the demands of an organization to provide a culture that employees feel connected to become even more critical to long-term success of a company.

When we analyzed the historical and current perspective of high-performing organizations, we found the concepts to be limiting.  We discovered that most organizations focus on what the employees are providing to the organization and are measured from a “me” or “self” centered approach.  Many organizations today focus on how to get the employees more engaged.  An organization may ask questions centered around themes such as:

  1. A positive attitude towards, and pride in, the organization
  2.  Belief in the organization’s products/services
  3. A perception that the organization enables the employee to perform well
  4.  A willingness to behave altruistically and be a good team player
  5. An understanding of the bigger picture and a willingness to go beyond the requirements of the job

In our research we sought to identify the DNA of engagement.  We found that most organizations don’t focus on the foundational elements that truly drive satisfaction and engagement.  This was our “Ah-Ha” moment and explained why so many organizations struggle with moving the needle on engagement scores.  If an organization only addresses symptoms and doesn’t address the root source it is nearly impossible to create a higher performing organization.  We found that TRUST is embedded in the core DNA of those organizations that are continuously high performing.

Trust is not a singular directional concept.  Trust is, by definition, reliant on relationships between people or groups.  Trust in and of itself is the foundation in which an organization must build their culture to meet the demands of an evolving conscientious workface.  While trust is the foundation, an organization must also have those other elements that create capacity.  Our Trust and Capacity model™ focuses on four key themes to identify which root DNA areas need to be addressed to manage and build a successful culture.  These include:

Organizational Trust – These are the attractors that energize the workforce to want to come to work and do great things.

  1. Consistency of direction among management and employees
  2. Environment of trust and honesty
  3. Leadership effectiveness and employee confidence
  4. Commitment to company vision

Individual Trust – These are the attributes that demonstrate the organization truly believes in its employees.

  1.  Consistency of words and actions
  2. Manager-Employee relations
  3. Ability to provide the right resources, tools, and technology
  4. Effectiveness of performance management

Individual Capacity – These are the characteristics that allow people to stretch their capabilities and produce outstanding individual results.

  1.  Degree of freedom, challenge, and desire to improve
  2. Level of day-to-day job satisfaction
  3.  Opportunities for growth
  4. Level of support for innovation and risk taking

Organizational Capacity – these are the qualities that illustrate the workforce is operating smoothly to produce real value to all stakeholders.

  1. Priority on serving the customer
  2. Brand reputation
  3.  Efficiency
  4. Emphasis on quality

When an organization can identify the DNA of a  trusting culture, they have the insights that enable them to build a trusted brand from the inside out.  An organization centered on trust will have people who are truly their most valuable asset and will create a competitive advantage that allows it to repeatedly produce value for all stakeholders.  Today’s workforce is evolving at the speed of light, and by focusing on those themes that build trusting relationships you too can have a culture of trust.

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