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TRUST Is Not A Four Letter Word


It’s true; trust is not a four letter word. In fact, trust is quite obviously a five letter word. However, in organizations, trust can be a profoundly off-limits word as bad as – or worse – than any four letter word. Why? Because there is an unspoken struggle related to trust in organizations. The struggle is this: employers know they need to trust their employees, and most importantly, act in ways that show how much they trust their employees. But, by and large, employers just can’t seem to do it.

It’s a bit like dating someone for a long time without saying “I love you,” when you know the other person really wants to hear it. The employer knows how much the employee wants to be trusted but keeps waiting for the employee to prove his commitment and trust. Sadly, this lack of goodwill on the behalf of the employer actually feeds the employee’s belief that he should not be trusted. That’s precisely when he starts to slack off and do things that may seem questionable to the employer. It is a vicious cycle that perpetuates itself.

A more  noble and productive goal for an organization is to be “human-centered,” as discussed by Tony Schwartz and Christine Porath in their recent New York Times article “Why You Hate Work.” They claim that the “truly human-centered organization(s) put (their) people first – even above customers – because (they) recognize that they are the key to creating long-term value.”

For example, human-centered employers compensate their employees well. Have you been to Costco lately? Costco is well-know for its fantastic compensation and benefits packages. Have you noticed how happy those employees are? It’s crazy. I love that place for many reasons and one of them is that the employees are a joy to be around.

Consider what it would take to show your trust in your employees. Flexible work schedules is a great place to start.

Consider what it would take to show your employees you want to invest in their happiness – at work and at home. That might be a bit more difficult to grapple with. Stay tuned! An upcoming blog will give a practical suggestion of how to invest in your employees and simultaneously increase happiness and engagement in your workplace.

To see the entire “Why I Hate Work Article” go to:

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