Trust is one of the most important elements of anyone’s personal or professional life. In many ways, without trust, it is almost impossible to achieve anything. Be it a strong relationship with a significant other, or a larger corporate merger or bi-partisan compromise in key legislation, or the management of your everyday team; trust issues can be a huge negative factor in undermining the success of individuals, organizations, and even entire countries. Inclusive leaders are key to inspiring trust and innovation.
From a global ‘business trust crisis‘ to a ‘fake news epidemic‘ to the workplace gender disconnect (e.g. #metoo), there are seemingly trust issues all around us. But some companies are doing it right. Companies with a strong culture of trust produce more innovative, engaged and happier employees (see this webinar about ‘unlocking happier workplaces’).
So what are some areas that companies and their leaders can focus on to create a strong culture of trust? And how do these areas affect a company and societal success? Let’s discuss:
Inclusive Leaders are Transparent
We sat down with, JetBlue Chairman and global thought-leader, Joel Peterson, to discuss the impact of transparency in building an organizational culture of trust. Transparency is one of the key mechanisms that can effectively bridge the gap between a company’s leadership and its workforce. This becomes increasingly important with a younger generation entering the workforce with a more wary perspective of systems and institutions than their predecessors (i.e. the University system and housing market).
Transparent companies are more successful at inspiring their workforce to invest in a common mission. companies with transparency are not afraid to provide insights into decision making, which builds trust in leadership and company process. Companies that are not transparent send the message that their workforce is not worthy of receiving key insights, creating internal skepticism of leadership that destroys company morale.
Inclusive Leaders are Accountable
Everyone makes mistakes. From the social media intern to the C-suite, individuals make mistakes that negatively impact a company to varying degrees. When leaders show accountability for their own mistakes, they show their teams that they are self-aware, which establishes credibility. A lack of accountability also hinders the free exchange of authentic feedback which in turn stifles individual and team growth. Accountability is a key tool that can turn a mistake into an opportunity to build a stronger team culture. Leaders who are accountable themselves then inspire their teams to be accountable as well, which creates dynamics of trust rather than fear or resentment.
Inclusion is Key to a Culture of Trust
In a nutshell, inclusive leaders are effective at connecting with the individuals on their teams. This allows leaders to set up their people for success. Inclusive organizations are trusting because they embrace and are invested in everyone’s individual success. This creates a dynamic of mutual respect that allows organizations to be transparent and accountable with their workforce. In turn, the workforce of an inclusive organization feels a sense of connection and belonging to an organization and its goals.
When all is said and done, a culture of inclusion creates open lines of communication between organizational leadership and the larger workforce. When a culture of inclusion and trust is achieved, individuals, teams, and companies are empowered to innovate.
What do you think?
What do you think about the correlation between inclusion and trust? Do you believe that this correlation can directly impact innovation and business performance? I would love to hear your thoughts and invite you to join our newsletter if you care to keep up with future conversations like this one.