Why Organizational Trust Index?? Trust or lack of it thereof, has a measurable impact across all the critical metrics & indicators of an organization. What is profoundly surprising is that even though we intuitively know that trust is important (Organizational Trust (& not engagement) is essential to high-performance workplaces), we are yet to determine a consistent methodology to measure the trust factor within an organization. (Also see, – Organizational Dysfunctions: How fault-lines impact organizational performance & effectiveness)
Being said, Organizations have long relied upon customer loyalty surveys or employee engagement & satisfaction surveys, as psuedo-measures of trust, to determine how employees perceive the organizational sentiments & behaviors, but there has been minimal progress to develop metrics & measures that enables Leaders to measure organizational trust (& culture of trust-building), which is a critical component of responsible corporate citizenship & corporate governance (precisely, the Great Place to Work & the Good to great workplaces). And this is why, Organizational Trust Index becomes a necessity, to metricize the organization equity & social capital.
The Organizational Trust Index – Measure & Improve to High Performance
Drawing upon validated research, The Organizational Trust Index assists organizations in objectively measuring 9 crucial behaviors required to build of trust. Yes, validated at the neuroscience level, there are exactly (& only) 9 key behaviors that result in trust & culture of trust-building (also see, OKR’s – which equally resonate well with similar set of behaviors & The Neuroscience of Trust, HBR 2017), thus The Organizational Trust Index enables Leaders in determining level of trust in organization and where best to build upon organization’s foundation of trust.
The Organizational Trust Index measures the following dimensions objectively:
- Recognizing Excellence Socially: Giving a social recognition to a colleague gives an oxytocin boost in both the giver and the receiver with the receiver getting the largest boost. Giving praise should be a skill that everyone in people management should develop and if possible is even institutionalized. Recognition explains 61% attribution to building of trust & draws best results, when its public, tangible & unexpected. (the degree of attribution does not reflect the weightage in organizational trust index)
- Induce Challenge Stress: Characterized for high organizational trust, this behavior is critical in creating and communicating a compelling vision of the future and defining clear and challenging goals to achieve the organization’s main mission (3C’s are critical here: Compelling, Clear, Challenge). With that, it also includes continuous feedback on agreed upon performance expectations and the measurement of success. When employees have clarity on alignment & contribution individual goals to organizational strategic plans with clear benchmarks, they are significantly more productive. Challenge stress explains 72% attribution to building of trust & draws best results, when there are concrete goals to induce challenge stress. (the degree of attribution does not reflect the weightage in organizational trust index)
- Autonomy: Characterized for high organizational trust, this behavior resonates with actively empowering decision making and fostering independence, as against the micro-management or standing by the shoulder syndrome with the team. Leaders shouldn’t normally be telling their employees what and how to do, but rather setting direction and ensuring that their employees are capable of solving those challenges. This granting of confidence & responsibility boosts oxytocin in both giver and receiver of this responsibility. That along with extending a helping hand to help when it’s needed – also triggers the release of oxytocin. Autonomy explains 57% attribution to building of trust, & draws best results when people are empowered to take decisions & are encouraged to learn through mistakes. (the degree of attribution does not reflect the weightage in organizational trust index)
- Self Management: Characterized for high organizational trust, this behavior resonates with letting people choose what they want to work on – deliver results – and evaluate them objectively & transparently. Self Management explains 54% attribution to building of trust, & draws best results when team members choose the work they want to do, and are held accountable for it. (the degree of attribution does not reflect the weightage in organizational trust index)
- Openness: Characterized for high organizational trust, this behavior resonates with actively promoting transparency & free flow of information, keeping employees at all levels informed on timely basis about decisions/actions maintain access to leaders throughout all levels of the organization. Openness explains 63% attribution to building of trust, & draws best results when team members are explained the Why, along with What & How reinforcing it frequently with deliberate communication. (the degree of attribution does not reflect the weightage in organizational trust index)
- Caring: Characterized for high organizational trust, this behavior resonates with actively & deliberately cultivating collaboration, cooperation, teamwork, holding team success more important than individual success and driving emotional/social competence in all interactions with internal and external stakeholders. Caring explains 45% attribution to building of trust, & draws best results when members express their emotions & recognize emotions of others.
- Mastery: As humans, we have an innate drive to be good at things – to master them is one of 5 basic human drives. To drive this behavior, Organizations need to actively coach and develop employees, facilitate career growth and professional development, supporting self-directed learning and deploying the “signature strengths” on the job. Mastery explains 49% attribution to building of trust, & draws best results when members are enabled with whole person growth & forward focused goals.
- Authentic: Being honest, open and vulnerable at workplace is reflection of integrity, candor and honesty as well as expresses transparency, genuineness and beliefs about creating a culture where employees at all levels can do their best work. Showing vulnerability actually causes a release of oxytocin in the other person who then wants to help – releasing oxytocin for both the giver and the receiver. Being Authentic explains 46% attribution to building of trust, & draws best results when members are allowed to be imperfect, and encouraged to seek help when they feel the need for it.
- Psychological Safety: Workplaces with high psychological safety have an inherent competitive advantage, as compared to workplaces with a low score one ? A high psychological safety releases discretionary effort; whereas low psychological safety freezes it. Research unequivocally indicates that psychological safety leads to both career and business impact. Thus, when we measure high levels of psychological safety in an organization, it becomes a strong predictor of overall performance.
While building the culture of trust is key to building high performance organization, measuring it with the Organizational Trust Index, realistically maximizes the probability of achieving strategic goals and successful realization to organizational goals. It is the cornerstone of maximization of goal attainment & a leading driver of organizational success & progress.