What is culture? To me, culture is the glue that holds a company together. It’s very important to have a strong company culture in order to succeed and grow. Here at Dimensional Insight, our co-founders Fred Powers and Stan Zanarotti believe if they take care of the customer and employees, then the employees and customers will take care of Dimensional Insight. It’s a strategy that has worked for nearly 30 years.
In my previous blog post, I discussed the importance of building positive culture outside the office, but how does one build and develop good culture inside the workplace? It starts with trust – trust in your organization, colleagues, and skill sets. In order to succeed, organizations need to build and develop a trust-based culture. Here are 3 ways to cultivate a culture of trust inside the workplace.
Communicate and collaborate
I can’t emphasize enough the importance of communication and collaboration. If organizations want to succeed, colleagues and departments need to be able to communicate with each other and collaborate efficiently. Therefore, in order to build trust within the workplace, it’s important to create an open space so everyone’s voice can be heard. According to a Inc.com article on building a culture of trust, it’s important for employees to know what the company is doing, where it is going, and how they are impacted. Furthermore, collaboration is also important within workplaces because there is a direct link between communication and collaboration. Increased communication will lead to increased workplace collaboration and teamwork, leading to greater output and success within organizations. Therefore, communication and collaboration are invaluable within companies.
For example, the marketing team and I meet weekly to discuss projects and share concerns. During these meetings, I give everyone on my team a chance to contribute and express themselves. This gives me the opportunity to listen and offer support when needed. For me, these weekly face-to-face meetings result in greater trust within my team.
As people, we value relationships because they help us feel connected. Just as relationships outside of the workplace are valuable, it’s important to build and develop relationships inside the workplace too. According to a Forbes article, if employees develop close relationships and friendships at work, their productivity and performance improve.
Therefore, I make a conscious effort to build and develop relationships with my marketing team. For example, we regularly participate in team-building activities during our weekly staff meetings. Whether we decide to participate in a paper airplane competition or play “Two Truths and a Lie,” that time allows us to take our minds off projects and have some fun together. I also make an effort to regularly check in with my colleagues to get to know them, whether it’s hearing about Kathy’s daughters, Irina’s drawing class, Rose’s cabin in Vermont, Natalie’s summer adventures in Boston, or Ally’s new adopted puppy. This time allows me to appreciate my staff not only as my colleagues, but also as my friends.
Empower your staff
Recently, I read a Forbes article that explained a lack of trust can result from leaders not engaging enough with the people who touch the business. I found this point to be fascinating because trust inside the workplace is more than phrases such as “we value people.” Trust inside the workplace means having strong confidence in your abilities and trusting your employees’ contributions to the business. Therefore, in order to develop trust, it’s important to listen to your employees, have awareness of their strengths, and trust them with greater opportunities and responsibilities.
I report to Fred; he can be demanding at times but he is fair and very kind. He makes me feel valued and provides me the freedom to take ownership of my position. Because Fred empowers me to work hard and be my best, in return, I do my best to make my direct reports feel valued and manage them to take ownership of their areas. I’m grateful to work with a group of smart, multi-dimensional individuals. For me, it’s important to empower my staff with professional development opportunities outside the workplace as well as build their confidence in their skills inside the workplace. It’s also valuable for me to show recognition and appreciation after my staff meets a goal or accomplishes a tough project because I want them to know that I see and value their hard work.
Takeaways: successful companies require “successful” cultures
In order for companies to succeed, it’s important for them to build and develop strong cultures, especially ones that are trust-based. When there is a culture of trust established in the workplace, it will result in increased teamwork, transparency, and collaboration. These values are a part of our culture at Dimensional Insight. In fact, research has shown that organizations with high-trust cultures are more successful, whether its 40% less burnout from their work to feeling more connected with their colleagues (66%) or aligned with their companies’ mission (70%). Trust is more than respecting your employees; it’s about communicating with them, empowering them, and getting to know them as people. A greater trust in your staff leads to greater success and trust in your organization.
This November, I will celebrate my fourth anniversary at Dimensional Insight, which is the longest I’ve stayed at a company other than my tenure as a partner in a boutique marketing firm for 18 years. I used to be a job jumper (yes, I own it) because I was in pursuit of joy at work and a strong company culture. I’ve found that here because of Dimensional Insight’s trust-based culture which has worked for almost 30 years. Next year, Dimensional Insight will celebrate its 30th anniversary, and I guess Fred and Stan are living their dream. I’m glad I’m along for the ride, and I know Dimensional Insight will be my home for many years to come.
Read more articles on culture
- The Power of Positive Culture: Inside and Outside the Workplace
- Dimensional Insight Book Club: The Culture Code
- How Culture Can Positively Impact Healthcare Outcomes
- Highlights from the 2018 WSWA Women’s Leadership Council - September 27, 2018
- How to Develop a Positive Customer Culture - September 6, 2018
- 3 Ways to Cultivate a Culture of Trust Inside the Workplace - August 2, 2018