The answer is always..."TRUST."
The trust we have in people and in organizations comes, in part, from believing that they do care.”
I don't like to dabble at the poles of the spectrum: "Never________________Always."
And, here I am. I grow tired of data repackaged to fit your program, whatever the title is.
I read ONE more article about the health of organizations. Now, thanks to Gallup, we have pre-pandemic data to contrast organizational performance in a pandemic and forecast what's next.
And, why do we care? Because they are in the Fortune whatever category. So, let's emulate their success.
I get it. We all need benchmarks to strive for; efforts that yield success; the secret sauce that has oozed out from the latest data set.
BUT! Are we looking in the right places? The latest data reveals that empathy from managers and trust in employees to work remotely WERE the key ingredients in the sauce.
But, this is nothing new. We've heard it before. The importance of emotional intelligence in managers. The importance of TRUST in organizations, trust in business relationships between colleagues, managers, AND customers. Yet, we want steps...strategies...quick fixes. How do you operationalize trust? Why would anyone put money into an emotional, intangible, 'how do we measure it?' initiative?
BECAUSE IT IS THE SECRET SAUCE!
So, while you chalk it up to employee engagement, or the manager (Yes, I'm speaking to you, Gallup), you're overlooking the most important quality to build, the one cited in research (Yes, Gallup, you) the bedrock of an organization: TRUST.
Trust impacts our brains, our behaviors, and mindsets. It's the common denominator in relationships. And relationships are HOW work gets done!
Yes, it takes work. Yes, it's ongoing...not a ONE AND DONE strategy. Yes, you can build it. Yes, you can measure it.
When has there ever been a better time? The pandemic has re-shaped so many institutions, organizations, and HOW work gets done.
Social justice, racial equity, and diversity and inclusion efforts are more prevalent! Imagine trying to redefine your culture, create safety for these efforts, implement any new policy/procedure, or interrupt how you do business without TRUST?
Props to those who have seen the impact, collected data, and have done the work to convince others of the value to organizations!
A quick read that includes resources:
Why Trust Matters at Work (shrm.org) by Dori Meinart, Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
"The Speed of Trust The One Thing That Changes Everything," Stephen M.R. Covey
"The Business Case for a High-Trust Culture," a 2016 report by Great Place To Work: Business_Case_for_High_Trust_Culture.pdf (greatplacetowork.ca)
"The 2018 Trust Outlook," by The Trust Edge Leadership Institute: 2018-Trust-Outlook.pdf (trustedge.com)
Brandy Boak has worked in organization development since 2007. Enhancing the "human" part of organizations has been the biggest payoff for herself and others.