Organizational Trust and Wellbeing

If you’re looking to enhance the wellbeing of your organization you first need to have trust.

Trust is the anchor of any healthy relationship and wellbeing is all about creating connections to people and self. How do we create wellbeing in our organizations? How do we create trust if we don’t have it?

Trust Creation

Trust doesn’t come through grand gestures, but small acts that are done regularly, consistently, and persistently. We build trust through creating a trusting culture. Trusting cultures are those that foster a culture of wellbeing. They are all connected.

Trust is developed through four actions:

  1. Frequency of contact (familiarity). We trust others more when we understand and can relate to others.
  2. Quality of contact. When we develop the familiarity with others that allow us to be intimate, trust grows.
  3. Shared activities. Building things together brings people together through engendering a shared sense of accomplishment.
  4. Shared vision. When we can share our values, aspirations, and our perspectives it’s easier to come together and trust each other.

Most discussions of trust focus on the fourth part: values and beliefs. However, spend time on social media and you’ll see that sharing our beliefs and values can easily have the opposite effect. This is important, just not as the first step.

Our values come into play when we have the chance to work together, share space, and spend time together. Trust comes from time spent together and we can design for it.

Time matters, but so does the quality of that time. This means taking time to ask questions and to listen to others fully.

Once we do that, we can start designing and building things together because shared making is shared learning. Learning means that I am growing and when I learn with people I grow with them. This might sound simplistic, but it’s a powerful lesson we all can apply to our organizations.

Trust Building

Some simple means to build trust include:

  1. Create space at your regular meetings for personal sharing of stories.
  2. Support the direct one-to-one and small-group meetings that allow people to share their experience. When we do this we also enhance the ability to use After Action Reviews and learn through complexity.
  3. Set up physical spaces that support face-to-face interactions (or regularly use your Zoom or distance tools to create regular chat spaces) .
  4. Support asynchronous chat and responsible use of technology to scale conversations. This means using the right tools for the right task. We recommend you read Keith Ferrazzi’s take on becoming crisis agile in our organizing.

Resilient, compassionate teams come together by design. When we create a collective space to engage collectively to build trust we do better and our wellbeing increases.

These simple steps can yield enormous benefits. We’ve used these approaches with our clients and they continue to reap dividends. This is something that we do by design and with intention because doing so creates a leadership opportunity along the way. Trust by design gives us the chance to co-create a space together and share our experiences while building a better, healthier organization.

If you’re looking to create a culture of trust and wellbeing and want help in taking this forward, contact us and let’s grab a coffee.

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