Trust-A Bottom Line Issue
Besides the obvious positive human relations cultivated by high trust is the fact that high trust levels within an organization results in higher productivity and more profitability. Consider the following negative aspects of a low trust culture and how it impacts the bottom line:
- If people don’t trust each other or their leader or the organization, they are probably spending much of their time figuring out how to protect themselves. They are learning how to play the game; all of this time and effort of protection takes away from people’s contribution to achieving key goals thus affecting the bottom line.
- Low trust leads to distorting or not sharing critical information. People fear that sharing critical information will be used inappropriately. People can’t make very good decisions without accurate and timely information and, without good decisions, opportunities are missed and problems are not solved; all of which effects the bottom line
- Empowerment is not possible without sufficient levels of trust. One of my descriptions of empowerment is “more people making better decisions at the point of needed action.” This does not happen in a low trust culture. People are not willing to be proactive and take on the responsibility of independent decision making in a low trust situation all of which effects the bottom line.
- Disney’s Pixar considers innovation as one of the primary keys to its success. Dynamic and creative innovation in a team happens best when the team has high trust. High trust leads to a willingness to share all ideas without judgment. It inspires taking creative risks and unequivocal respect among team members. Consider the organization that is trying to have their teams be innovative in a low trust culture. Innovation will be uninspired and truncated resulting in lost opportunities to impact the bottom line.