Leaders play an essential role in the smooth running and ultimate success of any organization. They unite employees and motivate them to work toward a shared vision. Leaders engage their co-workers and make sure nobody gets left behind. The right leader can build morale, encourage confidence and initiate action. But a leader can never really be effective and inspiring without an important quality that is regularly taken for granted: trust. As the Harvard Business Review points out, “cultivating a high-trust culture is not a ‘soft’ skill — it’s a hard necessity”. 45 percent of employees state lack of trust in leadership is the biggest issue affecting their work performance.
Trust comprises two thirds of the criteria when deciding Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For”. Research has also shown trust between employees and management is the “primary defining characteristic” of the best workplaces. The role of trust, and how to foster it, is an integral part of any great leadership development program.
Trust can falter when leaders make the decision to withhold important information from their employees. Trust can also suffer when employees believe management is not acting in accordance with the company’s ethos and values. Great leaders are aware of this. They have come to understand the necessity of gaining the trust of their employees and co-workers. But what are the exact, quantifiable benefits?continue reading »