Here is a short summary of the value of being a high trust organization.
Impact for Employees
When our employees realize that we, as leaders, are setting them up for success, genuinely have their back and are loyal to them, they are willing to go “over and above” to deliver for the organization. Employees are more engaged in high trust organizations and stay longer so you don’t experience the disruption and astronomical costs associated with frequent turnover. Engaged employees with long tenure tend to be more knowledgeable, provide accurate information to clients and make fewer mistakes.
The primary purpose of the organization isn’t to make employees feel loved and cherished. Organizations have all kinds of mandates. Some organizations strive to help their clients build wealth by providing creative, flexible and competitive financial products, services and strategies. Other organizations promise you they have the hottest, most stylish outfits that are good quality and reasonably priced. Your company may provide fast, reliable and high-quality maintenance and servicing for heating and air conditioning units. If these organizations plan to be around for the long term, they need to provide great value for their clients while also generating a profit. This is not a well-kept secret. Organizations need skilled employees in all of their roles, prudent financial management, a good strategy and talented managers to execute that strategy efficiently.
High trust organizations have figured out that we can treat our employees well while being efficient, innovative and profitable. More accurately, what they’ve actually figured out is that it’s far easier to run a winning team when employees are engaged, loyal and committed to making the organization a success.
The footnote I will add here is that high trust organizations are rigorous about the employees they recruit and retain. We’ll talk more about this in the chapter Are you trustworthy? Would a high trust organization want to hire you? In the company profile for Netflix, Zappos and Berkshire Hathaway, being rigorous about hiring trustworthy individuals is foundational for the sustainability of their empowering corporate cultures and their organization’s superior results. Here I’ll just state that in order for an organization to treat you with trust and provide you with the autonomy and empowerment to thrive, you must be trustworthy. Employees who seek to exploit the freedoms of empowering corporate cultures to benefit themselves at the expense of colleagues and the larger organization should be expediently shown the door.
Many large, bureaucratic corporations address the issue of untrustworthy employees by creating copious and restrictive policies and rules. They essentially create policies that cater to the lowest common denominator of their employee base. They then require managers to waste their time monitoring to ensure that everyone is following the rules, call out anyone who is offside while working through multiple layers of management for approvals for even the simplest requests. These excessive rules stifle your most effective employees feeling they are always being monitored. The managers who are now charged with monitoring aren’t thrilled about it either as they’re reduced to part-time babysitters.
High trust organizations respectfully yet efficiently show these low trust employees to the door and reject building bureaucracy and red tape to monitor folks who probably shouldn’t be working there.
Impact on Clients
Being high trust is a big win for clients. Clients get to speak to engaged, knowledgeable employees who give them accurate information. When clients call into your contact center, they rarely hear the recorded notice that wait times are longer than expected as you don’t have a high absenteeism rate and most days you’re running with a full ship. Clients have less reason to call your contact center as their products and services run as expected because you have a low defect rate. The end result is you have a happy client and happy clients tend to stick around longer than clients who are disappointed or frustrated.