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Build Greater Organizational Trust – Now By Al Lopus

Trust Makes or Breaks an Organization’s Culture

If you do not cultivate the kind of growing trust that produces enjoyment, unity and productivity, then your organization will slowly, steadily weaken from within.

The alternative is a clear, logical path for growing a vibrant, grounded kind of organization that is now helping to transform hundreds of churches and ministries throughout the U.S. and beyond.

What is at the core of this approach? I want to give you a short, simple overview that introduces you to the “what, why and how” of building the kind of foundation can cause your people to thrive, your culture to flourish and your organizational impact to climb.

Organizational Confidence

The definition of “trust” that we use at the Best Christian Workplaces Institute comes from the International Association of Business Communicators:

An organization’s willingness, based upon its culture and communication behaviors in relationships and transactions, to be open and honest, based on belief that another individual, group, or organization is also competent, open and honest, concerned, reliable, and identified with common goals, norms and values.

We like this definition because it reflects the communal aspect, a culture of competence, honesty and reliability along with good communication and common vision.

In his excellent book The Speed of Trust, Stephen Covey describes it in basic terms:

Simply put, trust means confidence The opposite is distrust –  suspicion. When you believe people, you have confidence in them – in their integrity and their abilities.  When you distrust people, you are suspicious of them – of their integrity, their agenda, their capabilities, or their track record.  It’s that simple.

It is a feeling one person has for another person’s capability and reliability supported by their past actions. By completing the BCWI Employee Engagement Survey, churches, organizations and businesses can know a true, accurate degree of organizational confidence between the leadership of an organization and the employees.

Leaders realize after understanding the accurate level of health in their organizational culture that “truth is your friend.” As many leaders have experienced, truth is a key because it removes suspicion and improves team effectiveness.

A Flourishing Culture

Covey creates a very compelling image and he puts it into a very simple formula:

↑ Trust = ↑ Speed ↓ Cost Increased trust among coworkers produces increased speed of efficiency and a decrease in cost because they are able to get more things done.

The inverse is also true:

↓ Trust = ↓ Speed ↑ Cost An environment with little or no trust among coworkers leads to a decrease in speed of efficiency and an increase cost because less gets done.

As an example, I remember working with an organization that had significant issues. During their leadership team meetings, progress and change had slowed because one team member accused a colleague of skewing results to make his department look better. Suddenly, the leadership team had to focus their attention on proving they had not done something wrong to a hostile department head, instead of working to improve their organization and serving their ministry recipients.  This never would have happened in an environment based on trust.

Bottom line: Work productivity increases significantly in a high trust environment.

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Al Lopus is the CEO and Co-founder of Best Christian Workplaces Institute, founded in 2002. The Institute provides research-based measurement tools and culture change advisory services with a single vision: to help Christian organizations set the standard as the best, most effective workplaces in the world.

 

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