Consistent organisation research studies show that a majority of employees have a trust issue with their leaders.
For example a Gallup Poll published in January 2015 identified that 51% of US workers were “not engaged” and 17.5% were “actively disengaged”. *
“The Great Place to Work Institute partners with Fortune to produce the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in which trust comprises two-thirds of the criteria, since their research shows that “trust between managers and employees is the primary defining characteristic of the very best workplaces.” These companies beat “the average annualized returns of the S&P 500 by a factor of three.””**
The challenge for many leaders is how can they “connect” with their people in a more meaningful and authentic way.
Honesty and integrity are at the root of any “trusting” relationship so today’s leaders need to follow three key principles
1. Be available and “present” – eyeball to eyeball conversations work better than any corporate webcasts, blogs or newsletters. You can’t build trust via an email or conference call or if you are never around.
2. Listen, Listen and Listen – too many leaders like to talk – the great ones listen.
3. Be direct and straightforward in all your dealings - even if it means giving people what they need and not what they want! Given the choice between “Respect and Liked” always go for Respect.
*Gallup Poll January 2015 based on over 80,000 people surveyed in 2014 .
** The Connection Between Employee Trust and Financial Performance by Stephen M.R. Covey and Douglas R. Conant, Harvard Business Review July 18, 2016.