How to increase trust and create well-being in your organization

"Trust is the willingness to be vulnerable to the action of others. Trust is a choice. Trust means that we have confidence in the intentions and motives of the other party. We trust it to advance and to protect our interests, our wellbeing. We understand trust as being the quality of love, commitment, friendship and partnership," wrote Aldo Civico for Psychology Today.

According to weforum.com, PwC has conducted research, run focus groups and talked to both leading experts as well as the everyday person on the topic of trust, the question being: what makes up trust in a business – and can it be quantified? What they found out was that, indeed, trust could be measured.  When considering if a company should be called trustworthy, people are looking for:

· Competence – Does the organization do what it says it will?
People expect companies to be reliable and transparent. A fast-food company should be upfront about the possibility their delivery will be delayed, for example. In cases of major delay, companies should be forthright about not even accepting the customer’s order. Fast food is supposed to be “fast”, after all.

· Experience – Does the organization keep its promises?
Companies are expected to be responsive, to listen to public feedback, to make the necessary improvements and treat customers as individuals. (My experience with Marks & Spencer’s high-quality and consistent customer service comes to mind again.)

· Values – Do you believe in the organization?
People want brands to understand their needs, to hold the right sort of principles and to care about their impact on society. Clothing retailers that source their cotton from fair trade suppliers are increasingly in demand because they are not seen to be exploiting cheap labour and because their products will benefit small-scale agricultural workers.

At the same time, The Ken Blanchard Companies researchers surveyed 1,800 workers looking at the connections between trust, well-being and coaching behaviors.The research found that trust and well-being were both positively impacted by perceptions of managers engaging in three key behaviors.

  1. Facilitation: Helping employees to analyze and explore ways to solve problems and enhance their performance.
  1. Guidance: The communication of clear performance expectations and constructive feedback regarding performance outcomes, as well as how to improve.
  1. Inspiration: Challenging employees to realize and develop their potential.

Moreover, a paper which accompanies the research shared four coaching skills to help managers move away from some typical tendencies—telling people what to do, making assumptions, and solving problems—and instead adopt a coaching mindset. Those skills are: listen to learn, inquire for insight, tell your truth and express confidence. 

On its turn, inc.com identifies four critical elements of trust that leaders need to be aware of and that apply to both leaders and team members alike: able, believable, connected and dependable. More on their perspective one can read here.