Trust is the foundation of all good relationships. Whether you are trying to establish a relationship built on trust with your customers, trust with your employees or trust between co-workers, effective communications built on honesty and transparency is the first step.
Businesses and organizations entrenched in a “culture of trust” tend to be more productive, experience less human resource issues, have happier staff and see more returning customers. But creating a culture of trust is not something that happens overnight. Creating a culture of trust in any organization requires commitment to many small trust-building actions over time.
The following are some simple tips to incorporate into your workplace to enhance its culture of trust:
If you are an employer:
• Be truthful and transparent with your staff and customers at all times;
• Create and communicate a strong mission and vision statement that promotes trust in your organization;
• Include staff and customers in the decision making process (when appropriate) and explain the rationale behind your decisions;
• Align your company with other businesses and organizations that are committed to trust and ethics;
• Celebrate your achievements;
• Follow through on your promises;
• Encourage (and reward) trustworthy behaviours from your staff;
• Confront actions and behaviours that conflict with your values;
• Pay for interpersonal communications and skills training;
• Listen closely and be respectful of what others have to say.
If you are an employee:
• Express the importance of trust to your employer and co-workers;
• Do not participate in negative activities such as gossiping, finger pointing and blaming others;
• Model trustworthy behaviors;
• Be honest with yourself, your boss, your co-workers and your customers;
• Think of others;
• Apologize for your mistakes.
Creating a culture of trust in your company will take time. It will mean being authentic, honest, and telling the truth to yourself, your staff, your co-workers and your customers, even when it is painful. But the rewards of living and working in a trust-based environment will be invaluable.