The Benefits of a High Trust Environment
The advantages of working in a high trust environment are evident to everyone from the CEO to the shop floor, from suppliers to customers, and even the competition. Building and maintaining trust within any organization pays off with many benefits.
Here are 12 benefits of working in a high trust culture:
1. Problems are easier to solve – because the energy is on the real problem, and people are not afraid to suggest creative solutions.
2. Focus is on the mission – rather than interpersonal protection.
3. Efficient Communication – less need to “spin” information.
4. Less unrest – little need for damage control.
5. Passion for the work – that is obvious to customers.
6. A real environment – no need to play head games.
7. People respect each other – less bickering and wasting time.
8. Fewer distractions – things get done right the first time.
9. Leaders allowed to be human – can make a mistake and not get derailed.
10. Developing people – emphasis on being the best possible.
11. Reinforcement works better – because it is not perceived as manipulative.
12. People enjoy work – the atmosphere is light and sometimes even fun.
With advantages like these, it is not hard to figure out why high trust groups out perform low trust organizations dramatically. There have been many studies that indicate the leverage you get with a high trust group over a low trust one is at least three times. That is why it is common for groups to more than double productivity in less that a year if the leaders know how to build trust.
There are dozens of leadership behaviors that will develop higher trust. An example would be to do what you say (“walk your talk”). I believe the most powerful leadership behavior that will develop higher trust is to create a safe environment. My quote for this phenomenon is “The absence of fear is the incubator of trust.”
Creating a culture of low fear is not rocket science at all. Leaders simply need to make people understand that they will not be put down for sharing their opinions as long as it is done in an appropriate way and time. I call this action “reinforcing candor,” because the person needs to feel welcome to share a contrary view without fear. Leaders who can accomplish this kind of culture will have the advantages listed above.
Work to consistently build, maintain, and repair trust in your organization. I believe the leverage in doing so is the most significant path to greatness in any organization.
Today we are revisiting two fascinating interview segments in which the featured leaders talk about their careers and how they made it to the top in the healthcare industry.
In the first segment, hospital president Traci Bernard describes her mindset when it came to advancing her career:
“I started out in nursing and loved nursing, but I like to make change; I like to be a part of change, I like to drive change. And with that passion and the willingness to take risks and embrace fear, every time someone would ask if I’d like to try something different, I thought ‘Why not?’ So I would try something different and take on a new challenge. And that challenge opened another door, which opened another door.”
Eventually, Bernard’s efforts opened enough doors to lead her to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Southlake, Texas, where she has served as president since 2005.
In the second segment, Chris Van Gorder talks about his own unconventional rise through the ranks of the healthcare industry. After several odd jobs as a teenager, Van Gorder started working as a clerk in an emergency room. He had no particular career aspirations, but quickly fell in love with healthcare. Little did he know that he was just beginning a remarkable career that would eventually lead him to the top as the president & CEO of Scripps Health in San Diego, California, where he has served since 1999.
To watch these two excellent interview segments, click below!
During each interview we have had the pleasure of conducting and featuring on AHL, the topic of company values comes up a lot—especially in terms of the impact they have on hiring. When the values are inconsistent between the company and the employee other issues arise, and both the company and the employee suffer.
The segments featured today are from three separate organizations, but each leader discusses the critical need for prospective employees to share the values of the company.
In the first segment, Chris Van Gorder, president & CEO of Scripps Health, discusses his search for a new CFO after taking the position at Scripps. As he interviewed individuals who were qualified for the position, he stated, “I was waiting for them to start talking about patients but it never happened.” Van Gorder kept up the search for a new CFO until he found someone who openly expressed his passion for people and the patients the hospital would be serving.
In the second segment, Traci Bernard, president of Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southlake, discusses a similar approach to hiring.
“I’ve said it before, skill can be taught. So I’m interested in passion, I’m interested in an understanding of who we are… and somebody who’s very compassionate and caring and puts the team first.”
In the final segment, Mike Williams, president & CEO of Community Hospital Corporation, discusses the rigorous interview process for CHC and the defining role company values play in the hiring decisions.