Gallop’s meta-analysis of high engagement leads to positive outcomes including higher productivity, quality, and profitability. Engagement requires leaders to have strong connections with work and colleagues, feeling like a real contributor, and enjoying lots of opportunities to learn. The January-February 2017 issue of the Harvard Business Review article by Paul Zak, “The Neuroscience of Trust” provides leaders with eight behaviors that foster trust:
- Recognize excellence: Set goals, celebrate goals with public recognition, letters.
- Induce “challenge stress:” Set difficult but achievable goals and check in frequently
- Give people discretion in how they do their work: Leaders give the “what needs to be done” and give the team or individual the freedom to find the “how.”
- Enable job crafting: Give employees some freedom to pick projects to work on; they’ll pick the ones they care about the most and give more effort.
- Share information broadly: Only 40% of employees report they are well informed. On-going communication is key.
- Intentionally build relationships: Sponsor lunches, after-work parties, team building activities and get creative in a pandemic environment over social media
- Show vulnerability: Ask for help is a sign of a secure leader.
- Facilitate whole-person growth: Adopt a growth mindset when developing talent. Set clear goals, give people autonomy, provide consistent feedback instead of backward looking performance appraisals. Ask, “Am I helping you get your next job?” Discussion include work-life integration, family, time for recreation and reflection.
A high trust environment improves business outcomes and how people treat each other. Give some reflection on what you can do on these eight management behaviors.