The culture of a company says a lot about the way things run – both internally and externally. If there is not a foundation of trust between colleagues, teams and employees, a plethora of other factors that impact the office environment remain in question. If you think the culture at your company is toxic, the best place to start is with trust. Let’s take a look at some practical ways to create a culture of trust.
Regardless of title and roles, listening must be a continually practiced habit among everyone. When people feel heard, they in turn feel valued. When value is communicated, trust and safety follow suit. Whether it’s listening to ideas in a brainstorming session or hearing people out when they have feedback, it all contributes to a foundation of trust.
If authenticity doesn’t exist, it’s hard for trust to exist as well. When employees feel the freedom to not put on a front or facade when they walk into the office, the workplace becomes a place of safety. Allowing authenticity is one thing, but encouraging it adds more meaning. To continually hear that you can be honest and real about what you’re going through, how you’re feeling and how you need support, builds deep-rooted and long-lasting trust.
Communicate clearly and often
Trust is built and sustained on communication. In order for there to be an equal level of trust among your company, communication has to be a main priority. Use trust as a filter for thinking through your communication systems to see how things check out. Is your communication consistent? Do you focus as much on communicating internally as you do externally? Does everyone in the company have the platform to be heard? Do people know where to go to find out news and updates about your company? It may not sound as important as other things, but communication (or lack thereof) builds up over time.
Encourage a healthy work/life balance
It’s impossible for people to bring their best selves to the workplace when their best selves aren’t taken care of outside of the workplace. Encouraging a healthy work/life balance communicates that the employee as a person is more important than the work that they produce. By supporting consistent work hours, time off, lunch breaks and no work on weekends, people feel safer to take the necessary time off in order to show up at full capacity during work hours. Encouraging employees to spend time with the people they love and do things they enjoy creates a positive attitude and posture towards colleagues and leadership.
Believe the best
Believing the best in your colleagues and employees can go a long way. Whether there is a lack of information or a lack of communication, it’s always safe to fill that gap with assuming the best. While it takes time to learn, the dynamics of how teams work together can be fixed with this one practice.
By changing a few things within a company’s culture, trust starts to become the foundation. When trust exists, a lot of other components that contribute to a healthy company culture simply fall into place.