Belief and trust are not the same. Sometimes they interact, sometimes they conflict. Once upon a time people believed in fire breathing dragons, but science has never documented their existence. Beliefs change over time, especially with experience and knowledge. In those days of dragons, Kings and Queens ruled the land … but in modern times people believe more in self-rule.
Trust – is a simple word that can be much more than belief. Trust sometimes occurs without empirical or scientific evidence – what we call proof. We understand it as it relates to our personal relationships. Trust is vital with families and friends, because we believe they will not harm us.
In some instances, “doing no harm” grows to putting other’s interests ahead of our interests, such as the relationship between parents and their children.
In business, what defines trust and why is it important?
We believe that trust in the workplace is not automatic – it must be earned. For employees, trusting an employer is the result of not only personal experiences with the owners and executive team, but includes the collective perceptions of fellow employees. It extends to observing how the company treats vendors, customers, and others in the marketplace.
Because of widespread social media, negative perceptions of company actions can adversely affect an employee’s mindset, and consequently their productivity. Business research proves that highly motivated employees – those who believe in the company’s Mission, Vision, Purpose, and Values – become far more productive employees.
Many articles and blogs describe toxic managers, employee disengagement, and dysfunctional company cultures. This is the evidence of beliefs ruined, and trust removed. These realities cause financial losses for the company.
Loss of internal trust … extends to perceptions of mistrust outside the company – with vendors, prospects, and even clients who begin to consider other options.
Workplace trust is intensely personal and collective. It is the relationship between employees, and the company they represent. It is the relationship between a manager and a team member. It is the relationship among a company’s sales and service representatives, prospects, and existing customers. Every one of those relationships is strengthened and maintained with TRUST.
For any business to succeed, it is not just in what all players can BELIEVE, it is in what they can TRUST.