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Why Do Employees Trust Some Leaders?

Nick Noyes, Co-Founder of Insight Experience, a company that offers business simulation-based learning experiences that connect leadership skills to business results, set up his business model based on a simple principle: the glue that holds successful, high achieving organizations together is rooted in the amount of trust employees have for their leaders.

He claims we decide whether or not to trust our leaders based on four categories of stakeholder questions:

What are your expectations of me? What are our organizational goals and how do they connect to my personal ambitions? How will my diverse ability, background and strengths drive positive results? How will I be held accountable for these outcomes?

Where are we going? Is it an invitation to a brighter tomorrow? How does my work fit into the bigger picture? Am I building something bigger than myself? Do I have purpose in my work by performing tasks that really matter? Am I up to something with my work or just collecting a check? Am I pursuing mastery in something that enhances my ability to make a difference?

Is what I am hearing across the organization congruent with our core values as a team? Does the rhetoric from my leaders match their behavior? Am I hearing the same communications that others are hearing across the office? Do I hear the messages at the same time?

How are the messages delivered? Am I motivated by what I hear? Am I recognized for my contributions? Does my workplace just count heads or makes sure every head counts? Do my work surroundings support and enable my efforts? Does my heart influence my work more than my head? Am I part of a feelings economy at work?

Trust is the great multiplier in the workplace. It resides solely in the giver. We can’t manufacture trust. It does not happen until it is given away.

Celebrate the trust within you. Realize that your ability to trust others and be trusted has the power and potential to illuminate our dark workplaces. It is a message of hope that our colleagues have been listening for. Let’s not disappoint them.

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