Recent research tells us two things:
1. Eighty-five (85%) of CEOs believe that employee engagement is one of their most important priorities.
2. Only three out of ten American workers are engaged with their work.
What’s the disconnect?
Our study of organizational culture revealed that leadership effectiveness is a crucial component of both employee engagement and organizational performance.
And there is one word that encapsulates leadership effectiveness:
The single most important thing a leader can do is to be personally trustworthy and to commit to building a trustworthy organization.
You can read more about our research and the employee survey we have developed from it called The Engagement Dashboard (TED) here.
From all of the data we collected we learned that a positive answer to one question more than any other predicted the long-term success or failure of an organization:
Management can be counted upon to come through when needed.
That’s dependability in a nutshell. It all boils down to this: can leadership be trusted?
There’s everyday trust – providing clear direction and adequate resources, communicating clearly, telling the truth. But organizations with a truly great culture go above and beyond.
They come through even when they might not be expected to. They allow for failure, risk, and experimentation. They distribute power and decision-making authority instead of concentrating it in the hands of a few. They share more information than is strictly necessary, even when hoarding information would provide increased power and influence to a select few. They demonstrate that they value their employees as human beings, not just as ‘resources’ filling roles and providing profit.
If there is a gap between where your organization is and where you would like for it to be, your best place to start asking questions is around this topic of trust. Are your leaders trustworthy? Are YOU trustworthy? Can people count on your leaders to come through when needed?
And if you are ready to take your organization to the next level, trust is also the place to start. What can your leaders do to push even further through trust barriers? Where can you share more, care more, risk more, communicate more?
TED would be a great place to start by taking a look behind the scenes of your organization. We’d love to serve as a trusted advisor to you on your journey to becoming a truly trustworthy organization that excels in both the bottom line and in the hearts and minds of your people.
You can find us here. We’d love to talk with you!