One thing is the most important in building a strong relationship, team, and organization: TRUST.
How do companies like Barry-Wehlmiller inspire trust from their employees? They did this by operating with integrity and using that integrity to build trust. In 2008 the company was affected like so many by the stock market crash. They were put in a position to decide to go the standard business route that has been around for years and lay people off to save the company or become creative to do what was right.
They decided that everyone from CEO to the lowest paid employee would have to take four weeks unpaid leave. They told their employees that they decided to go this route because it is better to have less pay than no job. Surprisingly, something great happened, it built trust and teamwork and a sense of service to their coworkers. Many employees could not afford to take off work for four weeks and their teammates recognized this problem. Employees who were in a better financial state agreed to take extra time, on their own, to support those who could not. These generous employees took more unpaid leave to allow co-workers the opportunity to make the necessary money to survive and remain a part of the corporate family.
The strategy worked, and the company did not have to lay any employees off. This approach helped reduce their turnover rate, increase company morale and most important built trust in their leaders. Employees appreciated the fact that management was there to build them and the company; and be someone they could put their trust into.
We all know the word “trust”, and we all understand the meaning of it. Some of us were taught to avoid it in the business world. In leadership, we often say it is lonely at the top. This saying came about because people felt that they had to keep a healthy distance away from the people they were required to lead. If you get too close as a leader, then you could not make the tough decisions, and you had to be able to make the decision that causes you to be hated among those you lead for them to be successful.
I am here to tell you that is wrong. First, the thing you should remember is birds of a feather flock together. You have seen this all your life from the lunch rooms of high schools, parties, and large social events. People tend to stay with a group of individuals the feel most connected with; it could be by social class, religion, professional title, friends and so much more. We have all seen this.
A leader has to have the trust of their team and trust their team to succeed. The easiest way for this to trust to be built is to get to know everyone on your team. You can do this by taking five minutes at the beginning of meetings to talk about what has been going on in your lives personally. You should lead by example in this by going first, to make others feel more comfortable with sharing their lives.
I guarantee that if you get to truly know your team and the individual you are expected to lead, then you will become a more respected leader. Remember that this takes time. The saying it take three weeks to build a strong habit and it takes a long time to build trust is very true.
If you are looking for other fantastic ways to build trust then join us in our 7 Habits of Highly Effective People class. We will teach you how to create trust in yourself and trust within those you’re leading.