HR and Learning & Development Managers have been talking about the importance of trust for decades, and there are so many statistics demonstrating how the concept of trust directly impacts performance, culture and overall well-being. Here are just some eye-opening statistics around trust:
- Trust is the primary factor affecting employee turnover.
- High trust organisations experience:
- 32 x greater risk-taking
- 11 x more innovation
- 6 x higher performance
- In a 2017 scaled US study, researchers found that compared with people at low-trust companies, people at high-trust companies reported:
- 74% less stress
- 50% higher productivity
- 106% more energy at work
- 13% fewer sick days
- 76% more engagement
- 29% more satisfaction in their lives
- 40% less burnout
Despite all of the available statistics highlighting the link between trust, engagement and performance, studies show a different picture. A staggering 82% of people say they don’t trust their boss to tell the truth and 45% of employees say lack of trust in leadership is the biggest issue impacting their work performance.
Perhaps this disconnect between the importance of trust and the lack of it in the workplace highlights an inability to build trust. When people talk about trust, the perception is that trust is linked to emotional intelligence and empathy when, in fact, trust is built on tangible, measurable behaviours or lack thereof.
We all know what a distrustful workplace looks like: managers withholding information, employees blaming each other’s teams, people afraid to raise concerns, everyone shifting responsibility around and productivity, performance and engagement are low.
Some common mistakes that destroy trust include:
- Avoiding conflict. When you create a blame culture, and people are afraid of disagreeing with someone or something, decisions don’t get made, or they base themselves on incomplete information.
- Breaking promises. When you tell your employees that you’re going to do something but don’t follow through, trust is lost.
- Focusing on compliance. When implementing many layers of rigid rules, you deprive employees of trust to use their common sense.
- Failing to communicate. It’s essential to inform employees about the good and bad because it’s always better, to tell the truth than to be silent.
- Assuming trust. A trusting relationship doesn’t happen on its own; you have to work on it and closely monitor the level of trust.
But how do you concretely build trust?
The Ken Blanchard Companies Building Trust Program helps companies, leaders and their teams build trust in the workplace and repair it when it’s broken. Based on 30 years of research, the Ken Blanchard Companies’ ‘trust framework’ is exciting and powerful because it focuses on specific behaviours. Why? So that every individual can clearly understand whether his or her behaviour builds or erodes trust, and can consequently make changes to the dynamic of teams and create trusting relationships.
With this framework, trust is no longer an abstract and fleeting concept but rather a series of specific behaviours that can be applied, observed and monitored.