My Experience of Building the Culture of Trust at Work
What is trust? For me trust is an essential factor that brings exceptional results in a relationship, be it family, love, personal or professional. I do not consider trust as a simple nameplate on the door, a welcoming sign to people to believe that “trust is here”. Rather, for me, it encompasses a whole lot of efforts and commitment to build that trust and confidence in a relationship. It is earned by putting constant honest actions that are reflected in our acts and deeds.
How do you develop trust in the workplace?
If I look back at my little over 3 decade career spanning across semi-government, NGO, manufacturing and IT industry in India and Japan, I was lucky enough to work under some of the most prominent names in the professional world from whom I have learned a lot. I have realised that any positive and successful working relationship in an organisation is based on trust. I reiterate, “Trust”, is not a nameplate on the door. I have also realised that it is the constant efforts of the leaders that are highly impactful in building the culture of trust in an organisation.
Some of the techniques I learned during my professional career from my esteemed seniors, bosses and readings which I have tried to practice:
- I have learned to listen, even though it may not result in a mutual agreement. Listening to learn and understand the value of feelings and ideas of people has helped in promoting an effective communication with my fellow colleagues.
- I have learned to be patient. Extending support with patience helps in building confidence in a professional relationship. For me patience is an essential attribute or virtue that every professional should acquire. I think that impatience is actually an easy way of covering up other serious problems, which in turn can lead to severe consequences in the long run.
- I have practiced to improve communication and build trust by giving a space where even negative remarks are taken in a positive way to improve. It is this trust which has helped me and my juniors or fellow colleagues to build on their strengths and aptitudes and overcoming their weaknesses.
- I experienced the power of empowerment where necessary guidance and support were given. It is being practiced even today by empowering them to complete the assignment, provide necessary guidance and support to decide and achieve the target. My experiences taught me that checking the progress in every few minutes will not only irritate people but is also a disruption and waste of their time.
- In a professional world where employers are constantly looking for methods to drive execution and accountability, I have worked on briefings before and after important meetings and events. By experience, I can say, it is one of the most powerful ways in building trust. I strongly believe in big picture communication, briefing team in a concise manner to get the work done on time and efficiently.
- I treat all my colleagues as equal partners, one and all with genuine respect and this is something which I had inherited from my seniors. Trust is created when even the newest employee, the lowest paid employee or even the peon feels important and part of the team.
Without trust in the workplace, there will be no communication and teamwork. An environment of trust is created only when it is evident that both parties will be safe and you have each other’s best interests in mind. I have experiences in my professional career when I have seen that when I place my trust on someone; he or she makes sure that my trust is not wrongly placed. I still remember the beginning period of my professional career when all my bosses had that trust in me and I equally trusted them, which in turn, helped me and still helping me to sail through my professional path in a positive and successful way, based on compassion, honesty, integrity and of course trust.