Creating a High Trust Culture at Work 

You inspire trust from others when you practice these six behaviors.


Recently while perusing the book shelves at Barnes and Noble, a favorite pastime of mine, I noticed that there were many books on trust and its impact on business.

Doing a search on Amazon on the issue of trust and business provides you a long list of books as well and it got me thinking.  In business and in our private lives, trust matters.

So why is it that people that lead organizations and run businesses forget that?

I, myself, have left organizations I was affiliated with simply because trust was not there anymore.

People have quit jobs when they felt they could no longer trust their bosses. Consumers have stopped purchasing items when the trust was lost. Just a few years ago, Netflix lost a huge amount of subscriptions simply because people felt they had violated their trust by changing prices without notice.

Forbes published at least 7 Reasons Employees Don’t Trust Their Leaders and Harvard Business Review published an article on The High Cost of Lost Trust.

Stephen Covey in the book The Speed of Trust, reminds us that trust impacts both speed and cost.

When people trust, things get done faster and cost decrease meaning there is progress in your business.

When people don’t trust, things get done at a slower pace usually because they are fighting, arguing, complaining, disengaging, or looking for another job or leaving meaning your business has to take time recruiting new people, onboarding them and trying to retain them.

Why should this matter to all businesses?

Because you don’t have the time or the capital to keep replacing people at work.

The reality is that healthy people leave unhealthy cultures.

Unhealthy cultures are low trust environments. Healthy people prefer and are used to working in higher trust relationships. If you hire a person who operates on trust and put them in a low trust culture, they will either adapt (very unlikely but happens when they need the job with no other prospects) or they leave.

Trust is fragile.

Like a piece of china, once cracked it is never quite the same. And people’s trust in business, and those who lead it, is getting lower every year.  People either trust you, or they don’t, and there is very rarely any middle ground.

Drs. Dennis and Michelle Reina, best-selling business authors of Rebuilding Trust in the Workplace: Seven Steps to Renew Confidence, Commitment and Energy and Trust and Betrayal in the Workplace mention that the following behaviors have been found to be the top trust-breakers in the workplace.

These are the top trust-breakers:

  • Covering up mistakes
  • Gossiping
  • Hoarding information
  • Leaking confidential information
  • Micro-managing
  • Sending mixed messages
  • Shooting the messenger
  • Shutting down others’ ideas
  • Taking credit for others’ work
  • Throwing others under the bus

So how can you as a leader create a higher trust culture in your business?  It’s really quite simple.

Care enough to want to!

Next- You inspire trust from others when you practice these 6 behaviors

Elizabeth Rios
Elizabeth Rios
Dr. Elizabeth Rios is a strategic visionary and has served her community in NY and FL in various capacities for over 25 years. She has served in high level executive positions in higher education management, nonprofit organizations and small business. She operates a number of online business incentives and founded Passion for Purpose International to help small businesses, nonprofits and schools get started, get funded and get teams going and growing in a healthy organizational culture.  Dr. Rios received her MA in Business Management from Regent University and her Ed.D. from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Rios is the author of Don’t Buy the Lie: Eradicating False Belief Systems that Keep You From Your Destiny.  In addition, to her community work with South Florida women's empowerment organizations and charities including her own faith-based nonprofit, the Passion Center, Dr. Rios sits on many national boards and serves as Contributing Editor or writer for a few national magazines. She is a Boxer lover,mom of two boys, one with special needs and sees her life mission as one to unleash potential, ignite passion and connect people to purpose. Website