Building a High Trust Organization Requires Respect
By Alan Olsen
One of the most important aspects in the success
of any organization
is trust. Employers
have to be able to trust their employees,
and at the same time, employees
need to trust their employers.
must be able to trust
their suppliers. Without trust it is
very difficult for a company
to achieve or maintain success. Eventually, a lack of trust can
undermine a company’s
goals and intentions and leave it in a position of failure, rather than success.
So what are some things a business needs to
focus on as it works to build a high trust organization?
Lead By Example
I discussed this topic with Joel Petersen
the Chairman of Jet
Blue, and he shared several ideas with me; first and foremost being the
importance of respect.
What does it mean to have respect
in a business?
Of course, employees
should respect their leaders and
follow their lead.
should have just as much respect for their employees.
Respect is a two-way street and without proper respect going both ways, organizations
will have a very difficult time building trust.
In fact, it is pretty much impossible. Thus, there needs to be respect at every
level of the organization. Joel said:
“It’s very hard to build a high trust organization
unless you are showing respect for everybody top to bottom. People watch what leaders do and
if they’re not respectful – from the receptionist to the executive vice
presidents – people pick up on that and they wonder ‘what is he saying behind
my back when I’m not there.’”
explained that it doesn’t matter where you are in the organization
you can still can show respect to everyone else. People who don’t show respect to all
their teammates can sometimes build cliques or small pockets of disrespect and
become quite political without respect. So I think if you’re in a leadership role
in the organization
it’s absolutely imperative. But even if you’re way down in the organization,
I think people are smart and they’ll know if you’re not showing respect to
also pointed out that if someone is not showing respect you simply need to pull
him or her aside and let him or her know that their behavior is not acceptable.
Another important quality of building a high trust organization
It’s extremely important for those in leadership
positions to be humble. When leaders have to
always be right and they won’t admit when they are wrong or they have made a
mistake it is difficult for employees to trust them. Leaders, who
are humble enough to rely on others, build teams and incorporate their
teammates’ strengths are more successful in building a high trust organization.
Additionally, employees are typically quicker to embrace this type of leader because
they trust them. “Those types of leaders tend to
listen. They tend to seek others opinions. They tend to weigh things more
carefully and therefore, we feel like we can rely on them.”