Trust is the bedrock of an organization’s success. The highest levels of productivity and effectiveness are achieved in the presence of high levels of trust between team members and between leaders and members. Intuitively, all leaders and managers know this. But, there is still a tendency in corporate leaders to bifurcate concepts like trust from results and revenues. The two are inextricably linked and that is the truth.
No matter how capable each member individually is, unless they come together as a team with trust, none of the individuals will reach their full potential. Success is when the full potential of each team member is put to play.
Lack of trust makes a workplace dysfunctional and unbearable.
In my two decades of experience as a consultant and business owner, I’ve found that at the core of a dysfunctional work environment lies the lack of trust. Remove trust and the factor of fear creeps in creating a toxic work environment and a broken culture. Issues like substandard performance, work politics, lack of commitment, job burnout, etc. surface. People get less co-operative, fight over rights and responsibilities mount, and members focus less on work and more on protecting themselves.
Mistrust is a virus that can create a diseased work culture. It begins at the top of the ladder (leadership) and spreads throughout the team, affecting engagement and productivity directly. A team without trust is just a group of individuals working, and making disappointing progress.
Leaders, managers can eliminate most of the organizational problems by ensuring an environment of trust. An environment where people trust each other, where leaders trust followers and vice-versa. Interestingly, efforts are not needed for trust-building. Ensuring that there is no mistrust in the first place does the job.