Restoring Trust with Transparency
In November of 2010, Richard de Crespigny, captain of Quantas Flight QF32, was able to respond to an inflight emergency without panic or blame. He safely landed the plane and saved many lives in the process. When asked how he was able to calmly work on the problem and react, he said “it is what the organization trained us to do and we trusted our training”.
Does your organization breed enough trust in your people to save lives? Do your people understand the mission of the company and are 100% committed to delivering it? Do they even know what you stand for and what you’re willing to accept as a leader?
The Role of Leader
As a leader, it is critical for success to have a high trust environment. This will lead to quicker and more unified decisions.
How can you rebuild trust in your organization?
Building a team where open and honest communications is the norm and not just complying with the rules requires a constant focus on transparency. As a leader you need to ensure that the same message is being delivered to your team, customers and suppliers. This will lead to a genuine trust and that will lead to results.
Here my top are 3 places to focus you energy as you build your transparent culture.
- Does your team understand the vision and strategy?
This can, at times, be the hardest piece of the puzzle and sometimes gets left for the end of the process. The first thing you need to do is craft the vision. Where will this organization be in six months? Two years? Five years? What are the hard deliverables? What victories can be celebrated? How will you communicate that? I have spoken a lot in this column on aligning goals and this is to an example. If you are not careful, the team will lose focus and your results will suffer.
- Consistently communicate what you stand for.
Sending an authentic message about what the team needs to accomplish, what the team stands for and what you are willing to accept as a leader. And… how you will build trust. Your team is listening and watching you closely. Do not let them down by taking a short cut or making an exception. They are called key values for a reason. Define them, communicate them and live up to them
- Does leadership encourage transparency?
Consider the results of asking your leadership team at the end of each staff meeting if we are encouraging trust. Your team’s ability to honestly answer that question will speak volumes. If they feel safe saying no, ask them to present options. Look for opportunities to walk the floor, sit and have lunch with random people, drop in for a quick workout in the company gym. If your team sees you addressing issues they will feel comfortable raising them.
When your employees have strong trust in the organization that will impact your customers. One of my favorite quotes on trust is from Sir Richard Branson:
“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients. If you do not take care of them, someone else will”
As always, please let me know what you think and for more discussion on this and other leadership topics, subscribe to my podcast.