If you can ensure that the five primary dimensions of trust are present throughout your organization, you will be in a great position to navigate economic and market challenges in today’s business environment.
EXECUTIVE EVERYBODY ELSE
The predictability and reliability of executive management in the eyes of the employees will, in large, determine the loyalty of the workforce in tough times. Unfortunately, many surveys and research studies report that senior management is the least trusted group in an organization.
Research on this dimension consistently reports that employees have a greater level of trust in their immediate supervisor than any other management level in the firm. When a manager’s behavior toward employees is consistent over a period of time, employees can reasonably predict that manager’s behavior. The manager will be trusted at a high level. Managers who have difficulty demonstrating faith in others are typically not highly trusted.
Whereas the first two dimensions span the company hierarchy, this dimension explores horizontal interaction, involving manager-to-manager and employee-to-employee interaction. Trust is a foundational piece of teamwork and the presence or absence of trust can predict the effectiveness of a team or group of peers. This dimension can be greatly impacted by collusion, secret interactions, plots, and agreements that undermine and erode authentic, constructive workplace interactions.
The impact of this dimension has been apparent for some time. Lack of integrity, indifference to the end user and an “anything to increase profits” mentality have soured customers and investors for decades. Consumers have “advertising fatigue” and demand a more personal relationship with the companies with which they do business.
Though this may be the least-reported-on dimension, the presence or lack of trust with suppliers, vendors and third-party partners has a significant impact on company growth and health. This element of trust is crucial given the increasing role that outsourcing and other third-party relationships are taking in today’s business environment.
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