In a post several days ago, we shared that our research revealed that there are four components that go into the trustworthy leadership which is an inevitable predictor of employee engagement:
We’ll focus on each in turn. Today is Dependability.
A person or organization is dependable if it can be relied upon to act in certain ways. If I do what I promise, over and over, you will view me as trustworthy and dependable. Same thing for an organization.
Dependable organizations say what they mean and mean what they say. They can be relied upon when the chips are down. In situations where lesser organizations might succumb to pressure and break their word, dependable organizations keep the faith even when the short term price feels too high. As a result, people like doing business with and working for dependable organizations.
Like them or not, the Duke University Blue Devils are a legendary basketball program led by a legendary coach, Mike Krzyzewski. When asked to name his greatest accomplishment, “Coach K” doesn’t list the multiple conference and national championship banners or rattle off a list of first team All-Americans or cite his record-breaking win total.
His self-reported finest accomplishment? “When that kid who plays here knows that I’ve been honest with him”.
We found these three characteristics of dependable organizations.
- They make and keep promises. This is the social and leadership contract that makes organizations of all kinds – business, governments, churches, charities, families – possible. It is the necessary foundation for trust, which is the necessary foundation for loyalty, safety, and engagement.
- They are consistent. Over time, dependable organizations, like dependable people, act in ways consistent with their stated values. No matter the internal stressors or external pressures, these organizations act just as they have in the past, securing the present and creating trust in the future. What was important yesterday will be important today and will be important tomorrow.
- They are predictable. Consistency looks to past experience. Dependability is more than a promise – it is a commitment rooted in a track record. When we have confidence that we can predict the behavior of a person or organization then we can have trust in that person or organization. Our faith in them won’t be disappointed.
At TAG Consulting, one of our highest aspirations is to help organizations live into their true selves, consistent with their values, creating a climate and culture of dependability where employees are fulfilled and fully engaged.