“Without trust we don’t truly collaborate; we merely coordinate or, at best, cooperate. It is trust that transforms a group of people into a team”.
— Stephen M.R. Covey, CEO, public speaker, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author.
Almost anyone can conceive of a business idea. Fewer can manifest that concept into reality. And fewer still will succeed. In the United States, half of all ventures will fail within five years.
Of those that do succeed, how many reach their full potential? And what is the difference between merely surviving and truly thriving? That is the subject of much research and debate. But here’s something we know for sure: High-trust cultures win in business. Anyone can consult with an attorney, draw up a business plan, and hire a group of employees. But it’s trust that transforms all of those individuals into a team.
For more than 30 years, A Great Place to Work®, a global authority on workplace culture, has conducted research on high-trust workplaces. Their data, along with research from Harvard Business Review, Wharton, and Duke, paints a clear picture of what business owners can accomplish by fostering a high-trust environment.
Stock market returns are two to three times the average. Data consistently shows that the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For show a cumulative return nearly three times the benchmark Russell 3000 and Russell 1000 indices.
A four-year study from Alex Edmans of the London Business School shows that a high-trust work culture precedes strong stock market performance. This is true of private companies as well. .
Employee turnover rates are 50 percent lower. Staff turnover can function as a never-ending budgetary leak. And, given the current shortage of highly qualified men and women in the tech and biotech arena, that can seriously impact the development of a company’s product. But as A Great Place to Work® has found, a high-trust work environment translates into employee loyalty. At companies with the highest trust ratings, 87 percent of employees say they want to remain at the company “a long time.”
Client satisfaction is higher, too. It’s not just the team members who are happier in a trusting work culture. Studies of healthcare environments consistently show that patients (customers) within high-trust environments displayed greater levels of satisfaction and were more likely to recommend the facility to others. Happy clients translate into return business and more word-of-mouth advertising.
Because trust pervades every level of an organization, and can even be felt from the outside, it can be one of the greatest investments an owner will make in their business.
Here are a few practical examples. Founders need to trust that their attorney is giving them the right advice, even when it seems like “bad news.” Likewise, the attorney must trust that their client is providing accurate input. Team members must trust one another in order to work at maximum productivity. Conditions such as these merge to create a high-trust environment that allows the business to reach its full potential.
For more information on nurturing a culture of trust, contact us. We can help you integrate this essential characteristic into every building block of your business.