By Jonathan Palombo
Marketing & Communications Coordinator
I am sure that many of us are tired of hearing about the pandemic or about unprecedented times. While we are not out of the woods yet, there is an end in sight. We may be tired, overextended, and exhausted, but the truth remains. We are still in a time of great crisis. Employees of all industries have been tested repeatedly: some reconciling with social unrest, many having to adjust to remote work, others just overwhelmed by it all.
The last year has exposed the importance of strong company culture. Having an ironclad culture is what allows companies to deal with rapid change. Not only must organizations be agile, but they must also support their employees while doing so. Fear not, for there is one word at the center of it all. Trust.
According to a 2019 Gallup Poll, only 1 in 3 employees trusted their leadership. We have not seen yet how the pandemic has affected this, or how this will translate into a post-covid world, but it’s clear that the pandemic has only raised the stakes. Trust is the foundation from which all attributes of a successful culture and company emerge.
Without trust, how can you have accountability? How can you have empathy? Engagement? Resiliency? What is the goal of organizational culture? Why is it vital for a company or organization to have a great culture? Primarily it is to properly align employees with the mission, vision, and values of the company. Another reason is to work as one cohesive unit, which has many other positive impacts: high employee engagement, low turnover, and higher ROI, to name a few.
Trust should be at the center of your culture. Your employees must believe in the company and its mission, vision, and values. Employees must trust that leadership will protect their best interests and stand beside them in times of crisis (like a pandemic). Employees must feel that they belong. They must know that if they have an issue that they’ll be heard. Action should be the expectation.
So, how can organizations take steps towards building a culture of trust? Here are a few key ingredients:
Transparency is a no-brainer. By not disclosing vital information to employees, you sow distrust. There have been plenty of examples of this during Covid-19, like employers not disclosing a known case to their employees (while maintaining the confidentiality of course). Be sure to have an accountability system that ensures transparency in all facets of leadership (and of the company).
Trust in Employees
Trust is a two-way street. How can leadership expect to obtain the trust of their employees when leadership does not trust them? Show them you do. This may mean not micromanaging them. It may also mean showing them gratitude, providing consistent feedback, or giving them more responsibility. This is an investment on the part of leadership. Nothing shows trust better than showing that you care and that you are willing to invest in your team.
Communication is strongly tied to trust. Miscommunication or misunderstandings can lead to distrust. Communication is often talked about as the most important aspect of a business. Mainly because of how much it affects everything. Have a system or plans in place that ensure strong and honest communication. Sending a message and then having to recant is not going to build anyone’s trust.
Maintaining a Culture of Trust
A culture of trust will yield much fruit for your business or organization. Low employee turnover, high company morale, more productivity, better communication, more accountability, the list just goes on. Like the broth of a soup, trust is your base. Happy culture-building!
Are you interested in building and sustaining a culture of trust within your organization? We can help. Contact us today to find out how we can help your organization unleash their full potential.