Trust: A Business Essential

There is one thing that is applicable to all aspects of the workplace that is valued more than stats, marketing, and tech. Trust. It is what will build bridges, seal deals, and communicate with care. Staff needs to trust your judgement; you need to trust your staff will deliver the goods. The transactional process that we engage in as customers is the “what are you going to do for me” attitude without ever doing anything in return. Trust in business is not just on a human level either, we look for the trustworthy clients to work with, and it is something we are not too keen to dish out to anyone, and other businesses are not so keen to dish out to you too! This could be losing you customers. How can you redress the balance?

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We need to establish trust with our clients in a manner of ways. The cliché of honesty being the best policy is a cliché for a very good reason, it’s because it’s true. People speak of transparency in business being an admirable quality, and it’s something they strive for in their companies, and in themselves. The very notion of being open and honest, in whatever scenario, from a big client meeting to talking around the water cooler, it makes for a very easier life than trying to “big up” your business when you don’t have the goods to back it up. The same goes for things like accreditation. Clients like accredited commercial builders are contractors that you are willing to put trust in to expand your business base, or to work on your new buildings to the standard you need them to do. Being accredited is just an official statement that these people are trustworthy, and by having a piece of paper saying that you are officially reliable may sound irrelevant to smaller businesses, but these are the tools you need to get your business to the next level.

Trust as a leader is a skill that can take a lifetime to perfect, but you can get it correct now. Striking the right balance as a leader that gets work done and makes time for their staff is a difficult task, but it is one that will help to strengthen bonds between colleagues and yourself. There is a big separation between the boss and the workers in an organization, but it’s not an us versus them style situation. This again reinforces the transparency aspect. Taking on board other viewpoints and looking to your colleagues for support helps to develop trust as an important tool. Starting an open-door policy, welcoming feedback, or just making the effort to spend time with people you don’t normally are all approaches that are not just good for the staff, but it’s good for you. Start by opening up the floor to some honest debate about the state of affairs, and welcome constructive criticism about the business workings. Your colleagues want to make their working environment better, not worse. So implementing trust should be top of your priorities.

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