It is rightly said that ‘If someone puts their trust in you, don't sever it’. Most businesses tend to place performance on a higher level of importance than trust. Sometimes, trust isn’t even considered as a factor of measurement with respect to an employee’s role. While most companies have various methods to measure their employees’ performance throughout the year (read: appraisals!), there is no formal scale which can measure a person’s trustworthiness and intrinsic motivation.
Goals might change from time to time, but the ultimate sign of success is achieving what you set out to do in the first place. One of the most important levers are the people who work with you. Reaching a company’s goals require a sense of collaboration that can be brought about by trust alone. Unfortunately, most businesses have rewards mostly for high-performing employees. And more often than not, these high-performing employees are so driven to be at the top of the org chart that they tend to overlook minor details, belittle co-workers and even keep important information a secret to use for personal gain.
In toxic cultures, managers might also reward these ‘high-performing’ employees because they hit their targets, at all costs. The drawback to these rewards is that it generates a culture among the workforce that forces good employees to either quit or take a step back. On the other hand, high-trust employees are your gold mine. These employees are the ones that will stick with you through thick and thin. They always keep the company’s goals and values at the forefront and work for the betterment of the team. High-trust employees take ownership of problems and don’t misguide their peers for personal benefits. However, since trust and loyalty cannot be ‘measured’ they are often overlooked.
At the end of the day, we all want to work with people who we can blindly trust especially in troubled times. A company that operates without the trust dimension is bound to collapse someday or another. It is much easier to find high-performing machines than trusted human beings in today’s world. However, in order to succeed in the long run, it is important to have a culture where employees trust each other, don’t you think?