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How Trust Impacts Productivity

High-trust companies have a total return to shareholders that is 286% higher than low-trust companies, which was found to be true across all industries.

There is no doubt that trust impacts team efficiency and productivity.

How trust impacts productivity

You’ve heard the saying that trust is the most important aspect of a relationship between two people.

Trust is the deciding factor as to whether a person buys from a business, especially on the internet.

Trust makes a relationship productive.

But when trust is violated, whether in personal relationships or business, destruction and chaos ensue.

Trust in the workplace amongst teams is like water in the desert: hard to gather, quick to evaporate. It is harder to build trust in business because of the money element, making people weary.

Staff members are slow to trust because their pay is at stake. Prospective clients won’t sign up until trust is proven because they want to be sure they can trust the business with their hard-earned money.

Qualities of low-trust organisations

What does a low-trust business look like, practically speaking?

Here are some signs:

  • Bureaucratic; lots of red tape and unnecessary, complicated rules.

  • Office politics, such as hidden agendas, manipulation, and secret meetings.

  • Disengaged staff: people put in enough effort to avoid getting fired but don’t put in more effort than the absolute minimum.

  • High employee turnover.

  • High churn rates because the internal culture negatively impacts the external.

Why team trust matters

High-trust companies enjoy the following benefits:

  • Increased value.

  • Increased growth.

  • Greater innovation.

  • Improved collaboration.

  • Higher loyalty amongst both customers and staff.

  • Attract better talent.

Chief Executive wrote in an article:

“Consider the example of Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett in acquiring McLane Distribution, a $23 billion company from Wal-Mart. A deal of this size involving public companies would typically take several months to complete and cost several million dollars in due diligence. But because both parties operated with high trust, this deal was made with one two-hour meeting and a handshake. In less than a month, it was completed. Buffett wrote in his annual report: “We did no due diligence. We knew everything would be exactly as Wal-Mart said it would be, and it was.” Imagine: less than one month and no due diligence costs. High trust, high speed, low cost.”

How to earn trust as a leader

As with all things, the behaviour of leaders filters down to team members. For leaders, trust is earned. Nothing works as well as leading by example.

Keep in mind that it takes time to build trust. Consistency is key. In addition, don’t assume your behaviour - or that of those who work for you - fosters trust.

People don’t trust leaders simply because of what they say. It is true that actions speak louder than words.

A leader is known by the sum of their actions:

  • Be trustworthy. Do what you say. Keep private the sacred things team members disclose to you.

  • Honour commitments. This also translates into being diligent because if you promise someone something, you must remember to do it and communicate that it has been done.

  • Tell the truth, even when it's hard.

  • Demonstrate loyalty. If you are loyal, your team will be loyal to you.

  • Be consistent. Consistency is key to building trust; doing any of the above once or twice or sometimes will accomplish nothing. Also key is to behave in a consistent manner, in other words, stable behaviour - keep your emotions in check at all times, but be open and transparent about your feelings.

Build trust with the right workplace tools

To do their jobs as efficiently as possible, your team members must be given the right tools.

Barbara Scullard, CEO at Tax to the Tee, says, “DataGrows has made my life so much easier. I never miss deadlines and know exactly what to do when.”

Take the DataGrows CRM and Practice Management system for a 30-day free trial. No credit card details required.

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