Trust is a decisive difference maker in personal and collective prosperity, but consider this: many large employee surveys tells us that business leaders are among the least trusted professions in today’s culture. Overall, trust in leadership is the main employee concern in the workplace.
Gallup’s research further confirms this by showing that leaders who don’t focus on their people have the trust of only 9% of their staff. Leaders who make people their priority foster a 73% trust level from their employees. This is a stunning statistic that exposes a marked difference in leadership mindsets.
Trust has long been considered a powerful trait that enables leaders to succeed; people who trust their leader are willing to follow them. They are more willing to engage their duties, make strong efforts to benefit their organization, prize the quality of their work, and feel like their efforts have value. Conversely, a leader who is not trusted can never overcome large, inevitable pitfalls.
If you wonder where to start, I suggest you consider Gallup’s research: the primary leadership mindset needed to establish and build trust is a genuine focus on people. Which makes me ask, why don’t more leaders pursue this? Perhaps they don’t understand the gravity, or it could be a lack of understanding of the four basic elements. Here is the first:
Employees generally want to succeed by doing good work. They want to know what’s expected of them, how to complete their tasks, and have the ability to get them done well. Due to many complexities and volatilities, your people almost always need help from you.
I know it seems obvious, but people simply want to be provided what they need to succeed. Being in the trenches, most people accurately know what it takes to get their work done, and often better than their leader.
As a leader, you have the responsibility to provide the resources your people need to complete assignments. Adequate funding, supplies, or equipment may be required. More manpower and/or time might be necessary. People need to be heard, and they need effective decision-making.
Sometimes the softer management skills meet the biggest needs. Your people may require further training or coaching. They may hope to be mentored to grow and develop their skills. When times get tough, your people want (and need) a positive attitude. Being observant and engaging will allow you to see the needs.
If you want to raise your trust quotient, make it a top imperative to provide help—offer a helping hand. People will know they’re being taken care of when they are consistently helped. This fosters security and confidence, which builds their trust.
What do you think? In your organization, is trust in leadership on the decline, or rise? I’d love to hear from you. You can call me at 561-582-6060; let’s talk. And as always, I can be reached here or on LinkedIn.