Just as banks and lenders determine an individual’s creditworthiness based on their track record of financial judgment and responsibility, a company’s workforce can have varying levels of trust in their leaders and organisations as a whole – and this can have a serious impact on a businesses’ performance. According to our research, a company with trust at its core is six times more likely to have high achieving employees, is 11 times more likely to be highly innovative relative to competitors and is 32 times more likely to have employees who take risks that might benefit the company.

As stories around corporate misconduct and toxic culture flood the headlines, it is clear that the level of distrust in an organisation and its business groups can often be traceable to the top. Leaders can be unaware of how they influence their teams and organisational culture by being a model for appropriate behaviours. Consistency matters.

So, how do we predict trustworthy behaviour? Trustworthy leaders typically articulate and act on their values in a consistent manner. They walk the talk. By contrast, leaders that exhibit wilful blindness and dismiss patterns of misconduct for short-term profits are also consistent and ‘known’ for their predictive unethical and biased decision making.

Jan-Mar 2018 Issue