3 weeks into January and Christmas is fast becoming a distant memory. The break gave many of us a chance to reflect and decide how we want to use our time in 2017 and to think about the really important things to focus our energy on.
Almost every business and leadership book or article at the moment is talking about the importance of Trust – the power of trust and the difference it can make to your business.
No matter how big you are, trust provides the difference between people doing what they have to do or doing what they could do – for you, your customers, your business. So how do you develop trust and, most importantly, how do you develop trust with the right people?
Leading author, Stephen Covey, writes in The Speed of Trust, “When trust goes down (in a relationship, on a team, in an organisation, or with a partner or customer), speed goes down and cost goes up.… The inverse is equally true: When trust goes up, cost goes down, and speed goes up.”
According to a PwC report, less than 50% of lower-level (non-executive, non-managerial) employees trust the companies they work for so you have to carefully consider how you build trusting relationships with the people you hire.
So how do you do that? Here are some areas to consider:
Hire for trust – set up recruitment processes that don’t rely on an interview. Explore all the other ways you can hire the right people – involve the team, make things practical, get curious about who they are rather than where they’ve been or what they can do. Ask questions of character – skills can be taught.
Set things up for success – learn the art of story-telling. To inspire people to want to do their best for your customers, they need a reason to believe – you have to create that reason. In fact, you may well be that reason. The reason might be what you do but it’s more likely to be why you do it and how you lead them. Get the story told in a way that is clear and engaging and help them understand their character and the part they play.
Break all the rules – if you want to stay ahead, frankly if you want to survive in the longer term, you need to offer something to the world that other people don’t offer. Whether that is a product, service or way of being – you need to stand out from the crowd. So how do you do that? How do you come up with something extraordinary? You find great people and you encourage them to break all the rules – encourage them to innovate and that’s how you’ll find something extraordinary. It’s how Google discovered Gmail and Google Earth and you don’t have to be the size of Google for the principle to apply. Wherever you operate, your customers have choice and they need a reason to choose you so do things differently. Remove every policy and process you can so people have the freedom to create and grow. Encourage curiosity and exploration – this is where great ideas come from. This is where your next time or cost saving initiative or customer delight will come from so make it safe for people to play.
Assume good intent – this can be really hard! It’s too easy to get cynical and assume people are lazy or incompetent – let’s face it, that’s easier than looking at our own management and leadership. But actually, those assumptions are dangerous – they can make us micro manage or feed our own negative assumptions – essentially ‘writing people off’ when it’s possible they actually need bucket loads of encouragement and guidance. Notice how you feel about certain people and then check if you’ve given them the tools and confidence they need to play their part.
Get out of the way – this can be the hardest of them all. All too often we get caught in the trap of managing and checking. Actually, leadership is about getting out of the way. Give people the space to flourish – as Susan Scott writes in her book ‘Fierce Leadership, a bold alternative to the worst “best” practices of business today’: you should identify who you need to offer up to industry and then give bucket loads of freedom to the talent you retain.
So, the big question is how much trust is in your organization? And does it matter? The truth is, you get what you put out and if your people trust you, they will surprise and delight you and your customers in ways you may never have imagined.
Exciting team news
I’m thrilled to welcome Nicola Blackmore to the Aspiring team.
Nicola is an exceptional Learning and Development professional with 15 year’s experience across a variety of industries including retail, hospitality, leisure and sales with brands such as Hilton, Fat Face, TUI Travel, P&O, The Southern Co-Operative and LA Fitness.
She specialises in Management training and development and has significant experience across all aspects of learning from Induction to Compliance to Appraisals and Performance Management, Communication skills, Time Management, Succession and talent planning and much more. She is also accredited to administer, facilitate and coach in Insights Discovery, MBTI and FIRO-B psychometric tools.
Nicola is passionate about making a difference to people – helping them be more confident and more skilled. She is sharp, efficient, commercially minded and knows how to help supervisors and managers be their best and deliver great performance and engagement.
We have a strong suite of programmes available to build Management competence so do let us know if you’d like to talk ideas through over a coffee.