Develop a culture of trust in your leadership, and engage your employees! Trust is assumed in most leadership roles,and maybe it shouldn't be. How do you quantify trust? Your employee's trust in you as their leader is a key driver to engagement, but is often that proverbial elephant in the room when it comes to measuring and elevating employee engagement.
As a leader we are on stage, and every single move we make that may make us seem untrustworthy is magnified. There may be something we say without consideration for others, or (more likely) there may be something we don't say that causes others to not trust us.
Conflict that may have happened within the culture of your organization before you became a
leader may live on in the minds of your staff. Remember, negativity screams at the human brain, and positivity only whispers. We just naturally hear negativity louder. When your employees have a negative experience, it may live on in their brains and hearts for a very long time. This issue may be invisible, and unspoken yet very deeply felt and ingrained in the culture of your organization and
employees. As I mentioned, maybe you were not even a leader yet, and you are not trusted. What you can do to combat trust issues is to become very, very aware of trust and integrity and evaluate yourself often . Make developing a culture of trust in your department your number one priority.
A lack of trust toward you, or the leadership as a whole in your organization can make it very difficult to get anything done. Something as simple as making a change in a shift schedule can take forever. Conversely,where there is trust, good things happen, and they happen very quickly.
The book by Stephen Covey " The Speed of Trust" is a great read on creating a culture of trust in your leadership.Sue and I will recommend this book often for groups of leaders who have a difficult time creating innovation and positive change in their work environment. Our assessment is that often they have "SILO's", and barriers to change because of past events that are causing a current lack of trust.
Two of the thirteen trust behaviors Mr. Covey describes in his book are
accountability.Covey refers to commitment as the“Big Kahuna”
of all the trust behaviors. When you make a commitment you build hope. When you keep
a commitment you build trust. Be careful when making commitments. Make
only the commitments you can keep. Mr. Covey also cautions leaders not to be vague when making
commitments. I interpret this as the " magic ingredient" in making a great work environment where happy, and productive people flourish. Make a commitment to follow-up on something, and keep that commitment. Everything moves in a circle of follow -up and getting back to people when there is trust and engagement.