Creating an Exceptional, Winning Corporate Culture of Trust

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If your fellow employees trust you, and you establish a corporate culture of trust, your programs will have a good chance for success. If they don’t trust you or your corporate culture, your programs will never succeed.

So, as you rise in the management ranks, how do you plan to build trust with your employees? What is your strategy for building a corporate culture of trust?

Trust is difficult to build, even harder to maintain. The challenge in trust in the corporate place is that ultimately everyone is in one way or another expendable to the organization. By that I mean that if worse comes to worse, the corporation has to get rid of its people who 1) aren’t in line with the direction of the company, or 2) financially don’t fit the available resources and goals of the organization.

So how do you build trust when ultimately the corporation’s number responsibility is to make money and not to keep its employees jobs safe?

3 Keys to building a corporate culture of trust

Why is corporate culture important? Corporate culture is the soul of your organization. It’s the mission of your entity and the purpose to what you do at work, each and every day. The elements of corporate culture vary between organizations. Each is unique to the people of the group. But the key to corporate culture values lies beyond just the definition of corporate culture. It’s understanding corporate culture and the impact it has in the types of relationships you’ll have in your organization. The right culture will be the breeding ground of the essential elements of success: loyalty, productivity, passion.

1) Corporate culture requires loyalty

By loyalty, I really mean loyalty to a cause. If, as an executive, you can show that you are committed to the mission of your organization, then enlist others to join you and continue to show that you are committed, then you will earn the respect of those who signed on to join you in the cause. Research articles on corporate culture today. Find an example of corporate culture from an organization that is struggling. What do you think you’ll find?

Too often executives are swayed in their original mission as they chase greater profits, often at the expense of the quality of the service, the culture of the organization, or the well-being of its people. This destroys trust.

However, when employees see executives who slave away like they do, who continue to preach the mission of the organization, and whose actions are consistently in line with the mission, they build trust with its people. The lack of trust we see today happens because often the higher the rank in the organization, the more people tend to exclude themselves from the rules, create double standards and create excessive perks just for the privileged group of people.

2) Build a culture of value adding

The second key to building a corporate culture of trust is to genuinely value the contribution of your people. Realize that they sacrifice, work hard, and are committed, just like you. The executive way of thinking too often becomes “they should feel lucky they have a job”. Instead, the executive way of thinking should be “we can’t survive without the productivity and innovation they bring”.

The more we can show that we truly value the contribution of employees, the greater the amount of trust we will build with them. The most effective corporate culture will create the environment where people aren’t threatened by others who have vision, but who encourage all to contribute to the end goal of the organization.

3) Create a corporate culture that enables opportunity

Finally, a corporate culture of trust is built when we see and treat employees as whole persons and not just cogs in the corporate machine. Give people opportunities to be a creator within the company, to make their voice heard, or contribute to the development of new initiatives. Even if all you do is enlist their opinion as part of a focus group or something, showing people that they CAN make the workplace a better place will go far in building trust with employees.

Trust often is lacking in many organization because employees are never given an opportunity to make the workplace their own. Because they don’t have the opportunity to grow, learn, give of themselves, and make the workplace a little bit of their own, they never give the type of commitment that keeps them loyal or that builds trust. The right type of corporate culture has to make tough decisions, but does so for the sake of all who make up the group.

In the end, as executives we HAVE to make the best decision for the future of the organization. That sometimes will involve people decisions that will be tough to make. Decisions that will negatively impact people and their personal lives. It’s those times when you have to fire or lay off employees. Or when you have to cut things because the organization isn’t performing, that the you will need to rely on your reservoir of trust you’ve built in order to maintain the existing relationships in the organization.

The toughest decisions you make have a ripple effect on the rest of the organization, even for those not directly affected. However, if you have a vast amount of trust built up with your people, those remaining (although impacted) will understand that you are sincere in your decisions and acting in the best interest of the whole. The amount of trust you’ve demonstrated in your people will cary the relationship through the difficult moments when the toughest decisions are made.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Flavio Martins
Flavio Martins is the VP of Operations and Customer Support at DigiCert, Inc., a leading provider of enterprise authentication services and high-assurance SSL certificates trusted by thousands of government, education, and Fortune 500 organizations. Flavio is an award-winning customer service blogger, customer service fanatic, and on a mission to show that organizations can use customer experience as a competitive advantage win customer loyalty. Blog: Win the Customer!

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