Trust.

Something that every leader wants. Many leaders initially gain trust, but then lose it due to a series of mistakes. In our experience, the level of trust in an organization is one of the best predictors of long-term success and the organization’s health.

Trust is an effective metric because it measures how well you are doing with four key aspects of your company:

1. Do you have clear values? Are your actions always consistent with your values?

2. Do you have a clear strategy? Does everyone know how they contribute to the team’s success?

3. Do you have the right people in the right roles? Is your team being properly trained and developed?

4. Do your employees feel like they are being fairly compensated and recognized for their contributions?

Trust requires excellent communication, universal accountability and transparency. Some of the processes we have found that work well include:

1. Surveying all employees twice per year, 4-6 weeks before each strategic planning facilitation. Use the confidential surveys to check in on the four key areas above and make sure the organization’s critical issues are addressed in the facilitation.

2. Frame weekly/monthly leadership meetings around the company’s core values. Have each leader share a story of the values in action – particularly when difficult choices were made.

3. Make sure the metrics driving the strategic plan are visible. Where the company is not meeting a goal, solicit ideas at all levels for improvements.

4. Use the company’s core values as a key part of the hiring and termination process. In many organizations, it only takes a few bad actors to corrupt a company’s culture.

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