What if I told you your company could raise its bottom line by 300% by shifting one thing? According to a study completed by Watson Worldwide in 2012 companies with high internal trust gave shareholders a 300% higher return than companies with low internal trust.

Here are 10 signs that indicate it’s time for you to invest in trust building.


  1. Less than Adequate Coaching

While coaching has proven to be one the most valuable tools for development, few managers feel comfortable or capable of coaching despite the expensive and time intensive training they’ve received on how to coach. As recent research from Stanford Graduate School revealed, 77% of employees throughout the US said they rarely receive the coaching they need. When manager and employees don’t have enough rapport to build on trust coaching remains absent. A focused effort to rebuild trust can help you shift this trend.

  2. Loss of Market Share Directly Related to Customer Experience

It is often understood that employee’s experience of leadership is ultimately translated into customer’s experience. Employees often begin to notice customer shifts and trends that impact the bottom line before management. Unfortunately, if they feel unheard or are worried it might make a boss look bad to speak up, they are hesitant to share their insight. Building deep enough trust is a sure fire way to avoid customer loss

 3. Unwillingness to Give Honest, Direct Feedback

 When team members withhold important feedback for superiors or peers it blocks positive workflow and negatively impacts the customer experience. According to a Study at Cornell team members withhold feedback because they believe nothing will be done about it anyway. Again, if our customer experience is a direct reflection of our employee’s experience of their leaders, we are in BIG trouble with a capital T.  Remember,there is always another company willing to listen to our customers and make changes if we aren’t.

 Your focus on retooling for a high trust culture will directly support your customer experience goals as well as your recruiting efforts!

4. Problems turn into Finger Pointing

 Imagine a customer was directed to another department to find a specific product only to get there and be told to head to yet another department. Two departments later the customer is frustated and wants answers. Once a manager is on scene the employees begin to blame each other or the manager for lack of up to date information about department changes.

Lack of trust leads to lack of communication letting you know workplace engagement is negatively impacting the customer experience.

5.  Disengagement

When you notice things like lack of genuine excitement, politics, power plays, excessive gossip, solo work, and/or complaining, you know you’re in the land of workplace engagement or in this case disengagement. Disengagement is costing you more than you maybe aware of : According to a study done by Harvard Business School the pricetag for disengagement is an estimated $3 Billion dollars in the U.S. alone.  If CFO’s truly knew the cost of unhappy workplaces you would never struggle to get training budgets approved again!  While disengagement has a few contributing factors, low trust is the root from which those factors grow.

6.  Lack of Communication

 If your workplace is a breeding ground for rumors, hearsay or inaccurate, or delayed information then it’s a pretty safe bet you have trust based communication issues that need to be addressed. And as mentioned in #4, lack of updated information or poor communication will be common when trust is lacking. Information flows where trust is high.

Getting the tide to shift merely requires a consistent effort of new trust building practices.

7.  Fiefdoms

 In the hands of one dominant person or group, power and control can turn out disastrous in organizations. If you notice most efforts to move forward are met with politics, the reason “why we can’t,” and other stalling tactics with vague reasoning- fiefdoms have you in a stranglehold. Building deep trust practices can help you break these down and move forward with appropriate resistance.

8.  Low Praise

 If your employees feel like getting praise for their work is rare, they will struggle to trust you with their effort and passion. People work best when they know their work is valued. Whether it’s the small daily kindness or the effort exerted to reach bigger goals, having your finger on the pulse of how much and when your employees need your praise will remove limits to what you and your team can achieve.

9. Go It Alone

When trust is low you’ll find many employees choose to go it alone rather than work with a stressful team or in a stressful environment.  When you notice people pulling away or sitting quiet in meetings there’s a good chance they have experienced something that keeps them from trusting fully.

10. Boss Plays Favorites

 When a boss plays favorites it disengages the remainder of the team members who are aware they aren’t part of the “it kid club.” These individuals stop trying at work. They no longer believe their efforts matter so why bother.The cost saving in productivity alone is worth making the investment trust building.


At the end of the day,Gallup estimates that lack of trust costs our nation $250 – $300 BILLION dollars annually just in employee engagement. Which doesn’t take into consideration all the other financial ways the lack of trust is impacting our businesses. Most leaders avoid this conversation like the plague without understanding they are missing the financial benefits of trust building. Trust is a real living thing and it can be measured through costs and speed. By improving trust within your organization you will see both major financial gains as well as engaged, happy employees. Or as I would say, a rockin’ workplace! 


To learn more about a low cost 2 hour trust building workshop, email me at info@carrymetkowski.com or read more here.

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