Creating a healthy work environment: The importance of trust

November 1, 2013

In a healthy work environment, people want to trust and be trusted. Employers and employees want to be able to count on people to do the things they say they will do. Accountability is just that: “clear commitments that - in the eyes of others - have been kept.”

People want to count on the values that are at the core of the business - and that are at the core of the leader. Build your business on values of integrity and make sure that decisions you make and actions you take support those values at every turn.

You want your team members to be proud of who you are, what the practice stands for, and the care provided for clients, patients, and consumers. Nothing is more motivational than being proud of the service and care being provided.

Billy Graham says that, “When wealth is lost, nothing is lost. When health is lost, something is lost. When character is lost, all is lost.”

In addition to trust of integrity and character, a healthy work environment demands respect and honor of the employees. People cannot function well in a place where they are humiliated in front of others or where they fear that if they make a mistake, they will be fired, ridiculed, or “ripped to shreds.”

Certainly, if a person makes a mistake or is doing things incorrectly, that behavior or performance needs further attention, expanded instruction, and correction of whatever is not being done properly … but a fear-based management style is the least effective of any management protocols. If people live in fear, they will never stretch, grow, or be creative.

Develop a university for learning in your own organization. Give people an opportunity to learn, expand, improve their skills, and be more productive. Provide the feedback that leads people to a path of continuous improvement where they are challenged to keep getting better. Know that talented people will leave an organization if they are not challenged.

You want talented people in every position in your organization. Talent translates to energy, productivity, and outstanding performance - if it is nurtured.

Notice the things that people are doing. Recognize work well done - and acknowledge it. Be on the side of your employees. Be a protagonist rather than an antagonist. Happiness in the workplace is possible.

When you build people up by creating an environment of trust, you take a major step in creating a healthy work environment.