Culture of Trust

Does your business have a culture of trust?

Or, a more accurate question might be,

“Do your employees trust each other, and do they trust you?”

Trust in Today’s Society

According to the Washington Post, Americans are less trusting than ever before.  This article relies on research that says:

In distrustful societies, people are more likely to craft public policy and do business in ways that benefit their own family, social class, tribe, religion or another group.

While much of this article is about public policy, it also relates directly to how we do business and how we make policies within our businesses.  As business owners, we need to support and encourage a culture of trust within our businesses to counteract this loss of trust in our society.

Trust

Trust is an amazing and vital feature of human interactions that allow us to cooperate and get more accomplished collectively than we can do on our own.   Here are several reasons trust is important.

  • Trusting allows you to grow. When you trust people, you’re also bringing new energy and new experiences into your life. This means that you may be taking new chances and therefore, moving out of your comfort zone.
  • Successful relationships are built on trust. Whether it’s business, romantic or friend relationships, trust is definitely one of the main factors in every positive and healthy relationship. The more you trust, the stronger the relationship.
·         Trust between people creates bonding and people who are bonded care about one another
  • Trust allows us to make sense of the overwhelming information the Information Age brings us, by letting us rely more on the reputation of the source than our direct knowledge of the evidence.
  • It is trust that serves as a buffer, allowing people a little space to make mistakes without dire consequences.

Trust in Your Business

We all acknowledge we rely on trust when dealing with clients, consultants, and vendors.  We want our clients to be loyal to us, our consultants to go to work before negotiating a contract, and our vendors to not wait on receiving payment before initiating orders.

But do we rely on trust to that same extent within our offices?  We rely on our staff to produce our products, but do we consistently trust them to make the right decisions, to initiate new ideas, and to do the right things?

Clearly, we should.  The benefits of trusting our employees are well documented.  Without question, a culture of trust yields higher engagement, happier employees, greater productivity, and higher profits.

A Culture of Trust

So, how do we create a culture of trust?  Here are eight ideas.

  1. Listen with an open mind to all your employees and coworkers.
  2. Be humble and express gratitude.
  3. Give employees the freedom to succeed, and to fail.
  4. Automatically assume that everyone is trustworthy, and expect them to perform at their highest level immediately.
  5. Recognize excellence and reward great performance.
  6. Empower employees to choose their work patterns and habits.
  7. Give employees a voice in their own job design.
  8. Communicate with everyone often.

The Bible

Trust is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as “Firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something.” The Bible tells us to trust God because He is reliable, true and able—therefore meeting the definition of trust.

Although the Bible has many lessons about trust, there are two I want to focus on.  The first is from Luke 16:10.

One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.

Trust grows.  As you can prove yourself in small matters, then your responsibility and level of trust will become greater.

Secondly, Jeremiah 17:7 says.

But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.

Maybe you need to start with trust in God, and then allow Him to teach you how to trust your employees and coworkers.