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The Art & Science of Trust

How to Turn the Intangible to Tangible and Boost Profitability

August 11, 2019

Although many of today’s organizational leaders are proficient in dealing with the tangible dimension of success - how to focus on profits, how to implement new systems, structures, technologies, processes - there is markedly less focus on the intangible factors that contribute to organizational success (and profitability!). And in my years of experience as an MCC coach and business consultant, I’ve found trust to be one of the most vital attributes that contribute to the health, longevity, and success of an organization.

The importance of trust and its impact on organizational success cannot be overstated. It is essential for team members at every level to feel valued and see meaning in their roles, thereby actively contributing in producing the desired results. In today’s complex business landscape, prioritizing and creating a culture of TRUST emerges as one of the most significant steps leaders and managers can take in paving a path to achieving the attainment long-term goals and objectives.

With this information at hand, why is it that two thirds of the workforce remain disconnected from their work robbing businesses time, money, and productivity?

Despite nearly two decades of trying to solve the riddle of low employee engagement, a recent Gallup survey still finds that only one third of the workforce is actively engaged. Tracking engagement scores among employees just isn’t enough to cultivate visible results in business performance. 

In my work with Fortune 500 companies around the globe, I've know that business leaders and professionals who support them often lack tangible ways to build and measure the intangible dimension of trust. That's why I've relentlessly worked with business leaders and their teams, and published articles since 1997 about how to engage employees by focusing on the intangible dimension of business.

A key point I'm making here is that Trust is the essential ingredient needed to motivate and engage employees. I think you would agree that building a culture of trust is the right thing to do. Doing so, increases business performance, which in turn impacts the bottom line of business.

International business and thought leader, Keith Ayers offers a compelling argument, saying that the focus on engagement has failed because leaders think engagement, and thus performance, can be bought simply through bonuses, benefits, and share options. While external rewards are half of the equation, building and measuring trust is the other half of the equation. It is the “heart” that inspires passionate in the organization and increases profits. Keith offers these thoughtful questions to leaders and professionals who support them:

  • What Makes the Best Employees Tick?

Many leaders invest significant time and energy on consistency – making commitments and sticking to them. But consistency is only one piece of the puzzle. Many leaders don’t understand the importance employees place on the kind of communication that builds trust.

  • What Kind of Communication Builds Trust?

Employees place a significant emphasis on the communication they receive from their leaders. Employees first and foremost trust leaders who trust them and treat them with respect.

  • How Can You Measure Trust?

Levels of trust can then be compared against organizational performance factors such as profitability, staff retention, productivity, employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and absenteeism.

I am proud to co-hosting a special one-hour event on September 4 with Keith Ayers called Trust Inside: How to Measure Culture and Create Trust on September 4th. Click here for more information about this engaging event and how to request your personal invitation to join us.

Hauser, L. (1997). The intangible dimension: Can you afford to neglect it? In J. R. B. Deforre (Ed.), The new borttom line: Bringing heart & soul to business (pp. 269-282). San Francisco: Sterling & Stone, Inc./New Leaders Press. (Essays by thirty authors including Angeles Arrien, Ken Blanchard, Ian Mitroff, Thomas Moore, Tom Peters, Anita Roddick, and Laura Hauser.)

Dr. Laura Hauser melds the science and art of coaching with a specialty in the development of teams and organizations. She wears multiple hats as a masterful coach, consultant, author, educator, social scientist, conference speaker, and business owner. After working 18 years internally for large corporations, serving in both specialist and management positions, she founded Leadership Strategies International in 1993. She is internationally recognized for her research on team coaching, and is the designer of the proprietary Team Coaching Operating System®.She believes that leaders, and people who support them, deserve to know what it takes for teams to succeed, and fail, before they derail.


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