How do you build trust in your organization? How do you measure it?  How do you know when it exists when you’ve just joined a company?

All really important questions and difficult to answer in just one blog post.  But it’s important enough to have ongoing conversations and continue to create awareness on a topic that has only become ever more important in the workplace. 

When I envision organizations where every workplace culture is one where professionals are able to show up as themselves – the unfiltered, unmasked, authentic version behind the suit, the corporate title and the office they sit in, I see opportunities and possibilities.

I also think about trust.  The importance behind an organization that is built on what makes a GREAT company – their people, begins with leaders who not only steer the ship but sets the tone and helps create a culture built on trust.

Leaders who support a culture that not only ‘sees’ their employees as human beings but embodies what this means in the way they lead, behave, speak, show up and ultimately demonstrate integrity and that they are trustworthy. 

My very first experience of what trust looked like in the workplace was my first job out of university. I was working for a software company and my 2nd year at the company, I went through a devastating breakup. My boss at the time happens to call me catching me having “a moment,” and knew I wasn’t doing well.

She not only cared enough to ask me what I needed at that moment but was kind enough to give me the rest of the day to myself. I was already embarrassed that I was heartbroken and couldn’t keep it together at work, and her showing me compassion, meant the world.

One of my favorite storytellers, researchers, Dr. Brené Brown known for her studies on courage, shame, vulnerability and empathy breaks down the anatomy of Trust that speaks to what it looks like in the simplest of terms.  She’s also the author of five #1 New York Times bestsellers: The Gifts of ImperfectionDaring GreatlyRising StrongBraving the Wilderness, and Dare to Lead.

In Brené’s talk on Super Soul Sessions, she discusses how trust is often built in the smallest of moments and over time.  Trust is also something you feel.  You may be able to describe a persons, behavior or actions that lead you to believe and make the decision that you can trust them, but it’s ultimately a feeling you get from someone. 

As a leader, establishing trust is imperative at the onset if you’re just joining an organization and particularly when you have new employees start with your company.  For a new employee, there’s no way to know if you’re trustworthy as a leader, let alone if their new colleagues are also trustworthy, as it’s built with time.  

We all have a role to play in establishing and creating trust amongst our work relationships as in all relationships, it’s a two-way street. To create a workplace culture that fosters a safe environment where employees can show up as human beings, trust needs to be established immediately and begins with leadership. 

Trust is such a huge topic and one that will continue to be discussed, especially as our workplaces continue to evolve, but I’d love to hear your perspective!

How do you establish trust in your organization?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and be the example you wish to see. Start with one small act and inspire those around you.

Lot’s of love,

Lisa