Being in the recruitment business, I regularly experience a wide variety of business cultures and dynamics. From healthy to toxic, flexible to rigid, formal to informal and just about everything in between. However, one thing is for certain - the straw that breaks the camel’s back is always trust.

Take a minute to review your company’s career page. I bet there is mention of a flexible work schedule, free food, a new laptop and team outings. But is there any mention of trust?

We quit jobs when we can no longer trust our company’s leadership, product or future. We stop purchasing items when we lose faith in a business, untrustworthy politicians impact the way we vote and long-term relationships end when trust is lost. The reality is that healthy, talented people leave unhealthy cultures (no matter how many perks you throw their way). Today, the most forward-thinking organizations are taking a holistic approach to company culture centring around one thing - trust.

8 Ways to Adopt a High Trust Environment:

  1. Ownership: Skip the micromanagement. Delegate responsibilities to your team members, let them take ownership and run with it. When teams feel encouragement and support rather than fear of embarrassment or retribution, higher risks are made. What holds us back isn’t the quality of our ideas but a lack of confidence.
  2. Transparency: Thorough and frequent communication is by far the EASIEST way to gain employee loyalty and trust.Transparency in a company is vital for building trust with staff, customers and stakeholders.Transparency tells the workforce that they are valued and that you are all working toward a common goal.
  3. Support Whole-Person Growth: To be productive on the job, you must be productive off the job. Without a solid foundation beneath your career/job, your outward success will never be stable or consistent. As an employer, what are you doing to support this?
  4. Recognize Excellence, Not Only Success: Success is measuring one’s accomplishments against others. Excellence is about becoming the best person we can be. Recognize team members for their self-motivation, positive attitude and synergy
  5. Listen and Learn: Trust grows out of the belief that you understand and can relate.
  6. Know Your Employees: Do you know how your employees define success? Success has many meanings to different people. Success is not a “one size fits all” onesie, it’s a custom three-piece suit.
  7. Authenticity: The first job of a leader is to inspire trust. Trust begins with leadership demonstrating competence, shows care and compassion and behaves in a trustworthy manner in all areas of life.

“Authenticity is the alignment of head, mouth, heart, and feet – thinking, saying, feeling, and doing the same thing – consistently.” – LANCE SECRETAN

8. Consistency: Consistency in messaging but more importantly in follow-through. Honour your promises.

Obtaining a high trust environment takes a long time to build and only a moment to destroy. When trust is created or restored, creativity flourishes and productivity rises.