“Trust is the big working capital for all companies, without which no useful work can get along. “It creates the conditions for prosperity in all areas.” Even today, Albert Schweitzer’s words have lost none of their validity. But the reality of many people has cracked. Digitization, Disruption and Industry 4.0 are not just catchwords, but the expression of a rapidly changing world that is becoming increasingly unpredictable. The new pace forces people and organisations to change ever faster and more radically, so as not to be left behind by the galloping change. But while theory still struggles for sovereignty of interpretation and the best methods, people are falling into uncertainty.
It can be reliably said that no entrepreneurial measure is fully effective if the people who implement it are caught in doubt. Trust is one of the major management tasks, even if in many places it is treated as a nice-to-have, to which one dedicates oneself only when the great challenges have been worked off. But this day never comes, and the apparent priorities are increasing faster instead of decreasing slowly. Those who postpone building trust in the company overlook the fact that people who trust work faster, better and more reliably than those who do not know where they stand.
But what is trust? Stephen M.R. Covey got to the point
- People’s confidence in themselves: Managers and employees keep their promises, meet the expectations raised and are convinced of what they say or do.
- Trust in others: Managers and employees openly address important issues, pass on important information and keep to agreements.
- Trust within the organization: The areas of the organization cultivate open exchange instead of fighting each other. Self-interests step back behind the good of the whole and strong employees are loyal to their company.
Two other forms of trust, that of customers and the social environment, have to do with the external image of the company. Companies with a high culture of trust radiate their internally lived values sympathetically to the outside world. They are inviting for identification and appear trustworthy, reliable and binding.
And how do you (re)make it?
The practical thing is that you can start immediately. Professionally, coordinated measures in the areas of communication culture, team building, employee qualification and others belong in the package. Communication is particularly important. Especially with critical topics, bosses interpret the lack of acceptance of their employees as a refusal of content, although they themselves have triggered the blockade through unfortunate verbalisation, unfavorable times or the wrong framework for discussion. Training and coaching can be useful in most aspects of confidence building. However, many other measures benefit less from knowledge than from the positive consequences that sometimes go under in everyday life:
Trust cannot be forced. It’s a gift if you
- openly address things,
- show respect even in difficult situations,
- create lasting transparency,
- correct unclear and wrong things,
- live loyalty,
- live results orientation as an example,
- work continuously on yourself,
- face all, even unpleasant facts,
- clarify expectations,
- demonstrate reliability,
- listen first and then speak reflected,
- absolutely adhere to agreements and
- actively build trust wherever possible.
Of course, honesty and courage need to do without information poker and half-baked fair-weather strategies. If you want to win the trust of your employees, you have to trust that they can also deal with occasionally painful transparency. Of course, this new cooperation does not germinate and grow in one day, but the investment in time and money is worthwhile. Trustful employees live a productive cooperation, cultivate a fruitful error culture and bring better results.