Trust is arguably the most important feeling between two people to start a relationship. The title of this blog is a joke, but the comedic aspect of trust is real. I don’t know if it’s just me, but many of the people I know only trust a few people. It seems that we are too quick to sell each other out in the name of the dollar.
And the idea of trust is not just for friends, spouses and cousins. Trust is something that is key critical in running a solid business with a team of employees. And there needs to be a culture of trust from manager to employee.
And in the Faceless World, that’s harder than it used to be. Due to the amount of remote workers, and siloed departments, there appears to be less focus on establishing a distinct culture.
Today the way we create and share information has shifted. It is no longer about checking in with a punch card and punching out day after day. Knowledge work rarely mirrors the Ford assembly production line.
Employees often find themselves in a position to make a decision when the manager isn’t looking. So how as a manager do you ensure your team makes the right decisions when you aren’t looking?
Leaders often hold their positions because they are hard workers. They got to work earlier, stayed later, and made sure to always quality assure their work. So in their current role as a leader, if a team member is slacking, it is not rare for a manager to take over the work for the employee. They can’t afford to have anyone on the team affecting the overall productivity of the team.
But it is a better move to look at the overall culture of the corporate environment to address why this happened.
The Zappos Culture Case Study
Zappos is a great example in the faceless world because the company might appear to be faceless due to the medium in which they sell their clothes.
This online shoe retailer demonstrates a culture of trust, where employees are empowered and trained, they are more likely to do the right thing when the manager is not looking.
While Zappos fields most of its inquiries online, a large portion of the customer service is handled by a very seemingly unstructured contact center with a very distinct culture.
Zappos tracks everything, but they certainly don’t manage by typical contact center metrics. And it has worked for Zappos. They were purchased last year for 1.2 Billion Dollars.
A culture based on trust can bring big profits.
The contact center reps are fielding customer service inquiries, but are not measured by the time of the call. They are not scripted. The culture is one of trust and because of that, the productivity remains high with less stress on the managers.
The same can be said of any strong outbound sales center. When a culture of trust is established, sales reps are able to sell more. In addition they feel more motivated because of the autonomy granted to them.
Please understand that you have to hire people who demonstrate an ability to take constructive feedback, a “can-do” attitude and someone who takes pride in their work.
Zappos actually pays people to quit in the first two weeks to make sure they only retain people who really want to be there—and are devoted to the company.
Creating a Culture of Trust
Even if you already have an established culture within your company, there are small steps you can take to improve trust. Here are three to get you started.
1. Check-Ins: Check in with your team once a week to understand what motivates each team member. Then make sure you are giving your team members meaningful work—and that will vary a great deal among staff.
2. Team Meetings: Hold weekly team meetings where you can openly share updates with the team on challenges, successes and how the actual individual work, contributed by the team members, is meaningful to the overall success of the organization.
3. Say thank you! So many people forget to thank employees. While of course you feel that you pay them—you shouldn’t have to “thank them”—recognizing good work can make a world of difference in keeping employees feeling motivated, happy and supported in the work environment.