Article: Grow by creating a culture of trust and accountability


Grow by creating a culture of trust and accountability

Can employees trust their organisation? Does the employer take accountability for its workforce? Trust and integrity are critical in gaining the engagement of people.
Grow by creating a culture of trust and accountability

Today the biggest challenge most organisations are facing across the world are – trust and accountability.

According to a survey done by GALLUP, 63% of people who go to work are disengaged, which means that they don’t do their job. An additional 24% are actively disengaged, which means that they don’t even let others do their job. That leaves only 13% of people who go to work, and actually do work. Is this not an integrity issue?

We need to get back to the basics. Wages without work amounts to stealing. Another study says most of the people who go to work spend 2-3 hours a day on their personal social media. Is that what they’re getting paid for? Definitely not. If somebody steals your wallet, what do you call that person? A thief. Now, if we do all these things, what are we?

We need to understand the difference between making money and earning money. Making money is criminal, earning money is spiritual. What’s the difference? When we earn money, we put our energy and ethics behind it. Sadly today, most people want to make money, very few want to earn it.

How can we establish trust without integrity?

Many people ask what the greatest thing in the world is; and they are told, even by religious preachers, that it is love. But the way I see it, trust, in many ways, is a much greater compliment in life than love. There are people we love; but we cannot trust. 

Why do you go to a doctor or a mechanic 10 miles away while bypassing 10 other people on the way? Are they the most qualified? Probably not, but something says, “I’m dealing with the right person”. What is that “something”? It is TRUST.

When you trust somebody implicitly, you gain one of the two things – either you gain a friend for life, or you gain a lesson for life. Unfortunately, by and large, most people gain a lesson for life.

What are the factors that build trust? There are nine broad factors:

Reliability Factor: I come through with my commitment, you start trusting me.

Openness Factor: There must be a level of transparency between us in order to trust. Can we build trust in a coward situation? Not at all.

Acceptance Factor: None of us are perfect. Whenever we get into a relationship, we always get the package – the pluses and the minuses. We must accept a certain level of minuses; without which, people feel insecure.

For the slightest minus/mistake, if a person is ready to break relationships; the other person is bound to feel insecure. We keep changing jobs, employees, spouses only to find that the new one doesn’t have the problems of the old one; but this one has another set of problems.

Striving for continuous improvement is quality, whereas striving for perfection is neurotic. There is no such thing known as perfection. There is nothing that can’t be done the next time.

Congruence Factor: Congruence means my actions and words must harmonise. If I say one thing and behave differently; would you trust me? The answer is no.

Consistency Factor: Consistency brings predictability; and predictability brings trust.

For example, if under 10 similar situations, I behave 10 different ways; I become unpredictable. My behavior becomes erratic; hence, I lose trust.

Competence Factor: What is competence? Ability along with the willingness and desire to do the job is called competence. There are many skillful people who are totally incompetent. Hence, they lose trust.

Character Factor: Character is more important than competence. Character implies integrity and dependability. Ability is important, dependability is crucial.

I would prefer to go to the second most qualified surgeon in town who has character; than going to the most qualified one who lacks character.

If you have a person with all the ability in the world, but they aren’t dependable at all; do you want them? Ability without dependability is a liability.

Courage Factor: You cannot trust a person who lacks courage. A person could have all the character in the world but if they lack courage, you cannot trust them. Why?

The reason being that they will always let you down at the last minute. They have no guts to stand up for integrity. How can you trust them?

Emotional Stability Factor: People who are emotionally weak, they are imbalanced. They are moody people, whimsical people.

The same person is all sugar and honey today; and the same person is out to get your throat tomorrow. How can you trust such a person?

People with emotional stability, they can withstand adversity; they are grounded, they are committed. They don’t quit the moment they see the first obstacle.

A study suggests, the cost of mistrust or distrust, in financial terms, is 2.5 trillion dollars per year.

In my opinion, the emotional cost probably can’t even be calculated. It ought to be a million times more than the financial cost. Also, as per Tolero Solutions, 45% of people say lack of trust in leadership is the biggest issue impacting their work performance.

Trust deficit has some devastating consequences which include broken homes, broken relationships, stress, frustration, depression, ill health, and many more. Whenever there is a trust deficit; two major consequences happen – cost of doing business goes up; and the speed of doing business goes down.

Before 9/11, when people had to catch a flight, by and large, they reached the airport an hour before the departure time. But since then, nowadays when we have to catch a flight, we have to be at the airport 2-3 hours ahead of time. Why? Because the security procedures have been strengthened; and thus, lengthened. Therefore, trillions of dollars have gone into security. So, what happened? Cost went up, speed came down. Doesn’t the same thing apply in our personal life? 

Trustworthiness brings credibility; and our credibility determines our profitability. Profitability is not only money, but goodwill, which is more important than money. If we have all the money in the world, but no goodwill; is it worth having?

The foundation to every relationship – whether spouse, friend, colleague, employer-employee, buyer-seller – for every relationship, the foundation is laid upon trust.

“Trust dies; but mistrust lives on...”

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Topics: #Culture, Employee Engagement

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