The most common challenges I hear from leaders about teams or team members that are under performing are that they lack enthusiasm and energy for their job, that their productivity is down, and that they are having to deal with constant drama that is distracting and time-consuming. What is sometimes hard for leaders to recognize is how a lack of trust in the workplace can frequently be the core issue that needs to be addressed. Lack of trust between individuals, their leaders, and throughout the culture, can sometimes be what is creating the drag on people’s time and energy from them at work.
The quantitative results of a trust-based workplace culture are in and can help the internal brand of organizations, like yours, create a working environment that leads to the type of results every leader wants to achieve. This isn’t cum-bay-ya stuff. Creating and maintaining a high-trust environment leads to significant increases in your bottom line.
Paul Zak, Harvard Researcher, Founding Director of the Center for Neuroeconomic Studies and Professor of Economics, Psychology and Management at Claremont Graduate University, has conducted 2-decades worth of studies that had some remarkable discoveries.
The studies found that people at high-trust companies:
- Experience 74% less stress
- 106% more energy at work
- 50% higher productivity
- 13% fewer sick days
- 76% more engagement
- 29% more satisfaction with their lives
- 40% less burnout
People at high-trust companies also:
- Enjoyed their jobs 60% more
- Were 70% more aligned with their companies’ purpose
- Felt 66% closer to their colleagues
- Had 11% more empathy for their workmates,
- Earn an additional $6,450 a year, or 17% more than those working at low-trust organizations
How do you begin to create a high-trust workplace environment so that you can experience those types of results? This article explains 8 Ways to Build A Culture of Trust Based on Harvard’s Neuroscience Research.
My favorites from the list are:
Recognizing excellence immediately. Letting the team know when someone has done something that is “spot on” to the type of standards you are wanting to achieve when it comes to effort and results can go a long way to appreciating what is going right.
Autonomy goes a long way… and is cheaper than you think. 20% of employees say they would forfeit a raise to have more control over their work environment (I am thinking that those 20% may already be compensated fairly for their roles, perhaps). Employees tend to enjoy having freedom to select projects that align with their skillsets and an opportunity to give input on projects that are assigned to them.
Communicate often. Being transparent about the things that you can be transparent about is helpful and giving feedback consistently so that team members know what is going write and how they could do things differently leads to clarity. They can’t read your mind. Don’t assume an employee knows the background of an issue or what they need to do to fix something unless you have asked them to share with you what they know or have heard from their perspective.
You can find resources on the Cortex website (just search for the word TRUST) for learning how to build trust on your team, with team members, and specific types of employees like Millennials. Here’s an article about the 6 elements of trust and what you may be doing to jeopardize trust without even knowing it. If you know you need to repair a relationship with someone at work, here’s an article about how to Repair Trust with Someone At Work.