Strong, Healthy Workplace Cultures Thrive when Trust is the Foundation

Research has shown that people thrive in their organizations when they feel trusted and engaged, when they own their work and work processes, and know that their leadership believes in them, and will encourage and support them.

If organizations want consistently high levels of performance, they need to transform their leadership cultures into ones that are more collaborative — based on the principles of trust and ownership, a culture that believes in the innate competence of the workforce, that they want their organizations to win, and want to be proud of who they work for.

Five elements of Trust

To build a strong foundation of trust at your organization, here are five key elements for leaders to consider:

  1. Trust as a core belief — Trust becomes the core belief system; it means believing in the competence, reliability, sincerity and care of the workforce; providing the resources and support needed for them to do their jobs; that psychological safety and trust is the only way of doing business.
  2. Trust as the Culture — Leadership makes a commitment to foster a culture where decisions are made based on principle, not politics; moving from a focus on “I” to a focus on “We”
  3. Trust through ownership — People take care of what they own; the team not only owns the values, vision, and mission of the organization, but also their work processes and outcomes
  4. Trust as structure — Trust is built and supported best in teams; it means a team-based, flat, and cross-functional structure; shared responsibility for delivering outcomes
  5. Trust as learning — People learn through their mistakes; being self-accountable for performance, accountable to one’s peers, all with a focus on learning without fear of retribution

Collaborative leaders know that trust-based organizations will out-perform their fear-based counterparts every day of the year.

Does your culture help leaders thrive in collaborative ways? Are these five elements of trust in place? Or can you improve upon even one of these trust elements.