Trust is fundamental to business. It is rarely discussed. Trust is THE key component to engaged employees with the ability to accelerate growth and reduce costs, while avoiding missteps. The more trust within a company, the faster it can move with lower costs. Simply put, in order to develop competitive advantage meaning to out innovate and out lead ones competitors trust is vital.
Said Warren Buffet, “Trust is like the air we breathe. When it’s present nobody really notices. When it’s absent everybody notices.” Trust happens when leaders are transparent and candid. When they keep their word. When the rules apply to them as well as to employees.
In other words when leaders walk the the talk. Leaders who give credit gain trust. They engage employees.
I prefer to think of employees as partners rather beneficiaries of a leaders benevolence in the form of a paycheck. As employee engagement goes so does customer service. One can’t compel trust or respect. Employees may laugh at your jokes or give agreement to your strategies. However every bit of disengagement has a quantifiable cost. Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha, and Chris Yeh in HBR writes:
Given how important work seems in our lives, it is tragic that most employment relationships are built on a lie.
Managers pretend that employees have a job for life. Employees pretend that they intend to work for their company for the rest of their careers. But deep down, both parties don’t believe their own words.
You can’t build a trusting relationship on a foundation of dishonesty and self-deception.
Yet the “honest” approach of considering every job temporary, and every employee a “free agent” leads to a bleak, cynical world without trust or loyalty.
The answer is for managers and employees to treat each other as allies: Independent and autonomous players who voluntarily come together to work towards mutually agreed upon goals.
Treating employees like allies allows managers and companies to build loyalty without lying. Successful alliances can be renewed and updated, allowing employees to construct a successful career filled with professional growth without ever changing employers. And employees who choose to leave can do so on amicable terms and with fond memories of what the members of the alliance achieved together.
Jim Woods is a leadership development and training consultant deploying his unique abilities in character based training and strategy.
Jim is president of InnoThink Group a human resources and leadership management consulting firm | Skype ID – jim.woods79 http://www.innothinkgroup.com Click here to schedule an appointment.m. He has an absolute passion for people development and are constantly refining and adapting his programs in order to ensure that they have the maximum impact on those we serve.