Trust Crisis in Business

There is no doubt a trust crisis in the world today.  One only has to scan the news networks on any given evening to hear that play out.  What may be less evident is the notion of a trust crisis in business.  Concerns about data security, information credibility, and transparency of information are on the rise.  According to an article in Forbes a few weeks ago 73% of respondents globally worry about information being used as a weapon.  Senior leaders and HR professionals need to address this gap in trust.  Best in class organizations are using these strategies to increase the trust in their businesses:

Communication-Typical organizational communications are sent out via email.  CEO’s need to change their approach and regularly use town hall meetings as a strategy to increase trust.  This should not be just a Q&A session, but rather initiating a genuine dialogue.  This helps both parties (CEO and employees) get to know one another and the issues each are managing though.  This use of small group meetings can lead to other senior leaders and front-line managers doing the same.

Strengthen Leadership Teams-Executive teams that trust each other model the way for other teams in the organization to work efficiently and effectively.  In my work I have found that executives are the least likely group to spend time developing their skills.  They are so busy working in the business that they do not take the needed time to develop themselves as a team.  By slowing down and spending time working on specific competencies, they can ultimately gain speed and momentum.   

Teach people how to be good teammates.  The team is only as strong as its ability to dialogue openly with each other.  You need to have vigorous debate and exchange of ideas to find the best answers and make the best decisions.  This can’t happen when trust on the team is absent.  Teams are not productive when worrying about the political ramifications of a statement, instead of the substance of the idea itself.  When team members are genuinely transparent and honest with each other it builds trust, which  then leads to unfiltered constructive debate of ideas.   

What does it look like to have TRUST on a team?

  • Being unguarded and genuine with one another

  • Apologizing and being open about weaknesses and mistakes

  • Giving one another the benefit of the doubt rather than jumping to conclusions

  • Asking one another for help and input regarding your areas of responsibility.

If your organization is struggling in this area, I’d love to be able to help you.  You will be amazed at the difference it can make when you focus on this capability.