5 Steps to Building Trust in the Workplace

Building trust in the workplace

5 Steps to Building Trust in the Workplace

Trust plays a significant role in the success of High Performance Organisations. In a Watson Wyatt study, high trust organisations outperformed low trust organisations by 286%. A 2013 trust survey found that globally, trust in business to do what is right is at 50% while trust in business leaders to tell the truth is 18 %. Unsurprisingly, Gallup’s 2013 survey revealed that 70% of employees are disengaged or actively disengaged.

When trust is high, engagement is high. When trust is low, employees disengage.

In June this year Ireland was awarded the number 1 spot in The Good Country Index, giving it the title as the country that does the most good in the world. While it provided a boost to Ireland’s international profile, it also provoked a surprising reaction in Ireland, with many Irish people emailing the author of the report, Simon Anholt, to stress how the reality of life for many in this recovering economy was far from good. Trust in the institutions of banking, church and government has been shaken. There is a disconnection between internal and external profile of the country.

In his Ted talk Anholt also calls for companies to become ‘good companies’. Corporate Social Responsibility programmes help build a positive public profile and do good work, but do they go far enough? Do they increase trust internally? How can companies be ‘good’ and attract the best talent and create environments that foster collaboration and innovation?

5 Steps to building trust and being a ‘good’ company

1. To build trust, build your trustworthiness. Trust takes time to create, and needs to be done consciously. It doesn’t have to be top down; you can build pockets of trust in your organisation.

2. Ensure transparency in communications by keeping communication channels open and ensuring that information is shared on time and with the right people.

3. Be the model of accountability that your team can follow. Admit when you make a mistake, creating opportunities to share and learn from them. As well as giving feedback, prime yourself to receive feedback and make the changes that you need to make.

4. Maintain your integrity by “walking the talk”. Communicate your purpose, values and goals regularly. Listen to discover the values and goals of others and connect with them in an authentic way.

5. Change the conversation – stop talking about engagement and start talking about passion and commitment. Support the wellbeing and career development of your employees. Give credit to your team and allow opportunities for them to increase their profile within the organisation.

Join the discussion- do you think companies need to become ‘good’?


Sinead Collins

Sinead joined OMT in 2011 and is a Design and Marketing Executive. She specialises in managing key marketing activity. She creates and designs compelling marketing campaigns that speak directly to our customers. Sinead works closely right across the organisation to help develop the business.

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