‘To work successfully with other people, you have to trust each other. A big part of this is trusting people to get their work done wherever they are, without supervision.’ - Sir Richard Branson
Trust has never been such a valuable commodity. With the over night jump in people working remotely, many business owners who have fought against the whole notion of ‘working from home’ for years, believing that their people could never be as productive in their own homes - that they couldn’t be trusted not to spend hours watching Netflix - now have no choice but to trust their team to get things done.
We’re all in different situations right now, facing our own individual challenges, and coping in our own way, but spare a thought for the business owner who is used to micromanaging their people. The boss who’s always looking over a shoulder, who keeps people in the dark, who doesn’t give them the development they need to work independently, who has never learned to trust.
Just imagine what they are going through right now, having never invested in the systems or team training necessary for a team to work without support or supervision, with any level of success.
Now imagine what it’s like for the employee in this business, having got so used to being spoon-fed and micro-managed - from a work point of view they must feel completely alone.
Any business owner who has always judged performance by how long people stay at their desks and how busy they seem, will be at a complete loss right now, being forced to judge performance by results, by productivity and by achievement.
They are going to have to learn to trust, and quickly.
Those people with high-performing, independent teams who have systems and follow them, will have found it much easier to adapt to our new normal. The foundations will already be in place - the nuts and bolts of their operation - which will make dealing with new products, new ways of working or a whole new customer journey, so much easier.
The independent team, where each member has ownership of their role, will have freed the business owner to concentrate on leading, on adapting their strategy, on looking after their cashflow - trusting...knowing...that their team will perform.
Trust is vital in a crisis. Trust between you and your team. Trust between your business and your customers.
But where does trust come from?
Trust in your team starts way back when you hire them. Do they share your values? Care about the same things that you do? Buy into the purpose of your business and your vision for where it’s going?
With the right people in place, their trust in you builds as you train them, as you give them the systems and resources they need to do the job well, as you give them constructive feedback that helps them to grow and develop as people.
When you’re consistent in doing what you say you’ll do, their trust in you grows.
Your trust in your team builds as they follow your systems, get things right first time, show that they care about doing their job well and focus on continuous improvement.
When they’re consistent in doing what you’ve trained them to do, your trust in them grows.
Trust between your business and your customers builds as they enjoy a consistent experience day to day, week to week, month after month. When they can rely on your operational excellence - on getting the same great service and product quality no matter which team member serves them. When the values of your business are clear, and don’t waiver however difficult things become. When they know that you have their back, that you care, and that you value them.
When your business is consistent in all things, your customers’ trust in you grows.
Trust energises individuals, encouraging them to use their skills and gifts, and fulfil their potential. Trust builds highly engaged, high performing teams, which achieve amazing results.
Trust creates the customer loyalty, which can see a business through tough times and deliver long-term success.
To trust and be trusted is a powerful thing.
Marianne is the author of three books, and is currently working on her fourth, whilst regularly writing her blog, we hope you enjoy it :-)