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Your Organization’s Biggest Expense? Lack of Trust

Your Organization’s Biggest Expense? Lack of Trust

Whether you’re managing a small business or a massive enterprise — everything of value is built on trust. That makes a lack of trust the biggest expense for your organization. 

As businesses everywhere prepare for a new hybrid working environment, trust is the linchpin to a successful strategy — leaders need it to ensure employees can comfortably embrace new processes and changes. According to David Horsager, CEO of Trust Edge Leadership Institute, there are a few tangible ways you build trust.

Learn more about Horsager’s recommendations for identifying and resolving issues with trust and check out our webinar with him for a more in-depth conversation around his eight-part framework for building trust.

Understanding trust

Think your organization has an issue with leadership, sales, or innovation? Think again. You probably have an issue with trust. 

When you lose trust, it could impact employee performance, customer relationships, and overall business viability. In fact, according to research from The 2021 Trust Outlook, 9 out of 10 Americans would not refer the products or services of an organization they do not trust. But when trust increases, so does morale, cost savings, and more — it’s the greatest efficiency you can have. 

As Horsager said, “Think about how long it takes to send a text to a person you trust or to one you don’t.” When you have trust, you’re quicker and more efficient with the actions you take. 

But trust isn’t a given, it’s earned — someone needs to prove they’re worthy of your confidence before you give it to them. So how do you become a trusted leader, brand, or organization?

8 pillars that foster trust 

The number one reason people want to work somewhere is because they trust leadership, according to research from The 2021 Trust Outlook. So how do you actually become trustworthy? 

Horsager’s eight-pillar framework includes a few recommendations:

  1. Clarity: Be clear and avoid the ambiguous or overly complex. 
  2. Compassion: Care beyond yourself. 
  3. Character: Do what’s right over what’s easy.
  4. Competency: Stay fresh, relevant, and capable. Keep with the times, and be skilled.
  5. Commitment: Stay committed even in the face of adversity.
  6. Connection: Be willing and eager to collaborate with others. 
  7. Contribution: Remain willing to help and show proven results.
  8. Consistency: Provide the same experience to foster a trusted reputation. 

Once you’ve identified which of these pillars you’re missing in your strategy, determine how you will solve for it. For example, if you struggle to hit deadlines and realize your issue is consistency, make sure you set a time and location to establish a clear ‘how’ for achieving that goal. Then identify your ‘who’ — a person who’s responsible for any task involved in achieving your mission. Maybe that’s your manager, a colleague, or just yourself.

A lack of consistency — or any one of these pillars — could strain your relationships, your work, and more.

The bottom line

It’s time to start examining what aspects of your day-to-day life could be improved by building greater trust, and which of these pillars will help you get there. Identify who you need to work with, and how exactly you’re going to solve the problem at hand. Soon enough, trust will no longer be your biggest expense, but rather your greatest competitive advantage. 

As the working world evolves, leaders need to sustain trust to help their workforce embrace the next wave of changes ahead. Building trust takes work, but it’s time well spent — the outcome can affect everything.

Stay up to date on the latest thought leadership on the hybrid workforce — check out upcoming events in our Building Forward webinar series and learn how to operationalize a hybrid workforce with insights from Alexandra Samuel, co-author of Remote, Inc.

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