How Do We Measure Trust?
Trust is the most important commodity in business! To be successful, it is critical that you evaluate how much trust is in your company. If it is so important, how do we measure trust?
What is trust?
Trust is the foundation for success, and you, your business, and your teams cannot thrive without it.
Trust is built on these five foundations transparency, consistency, authenticity, credibility, and competency. While these qualities can stand alone outside of trust, trust cannot stand alone outside of them.
Transparency is being honest and open in all communication and every interaction. It also requires the humility to admit mistakes.
Consistency is a repeated pattern of behaviour that aligns with your beliefs. It is showing up on time, on target, every time you execute a task.
Authenticity starts with character! A trustworthy character remains the same, on and off the playing field.
Credibility is reflected through genuine qualities. When behaviours are consistent with words, they elicit trust from others. Credibility takes time to build but can take only an instant to tarnish.
Competency is the quality of execution. Great leaders will continually upskill and build the competency of their teams, to continue to strengthen trust.
Why Does Trust Matter?
Trust matters because it has a direct and powerful influence on the financial and overall health of your organisation!
It has been found that employees of high-trust companies are 50% more productive, have 106% more energy, and are 76% more engaged with their work.
Trust matters because it can either make or break your team! Employees need phycological safety to perform at their peak and customers need to have trust in you before they invest.
How Can You Measure Trust?
You might be thinking, is it even possible to measure such a personal and individual value? It absolutely is!
The two types of trust that affect companies are internal and external trust. Internal is the trust that employees have for each other and the leadership of the company. External is the trust that customers, stakeholders, and investors have for the business or brand.
There are several ways for trust to be measured within teams, organisations, and businesses.
Speed is a Measure of Trust
The first is looking at your trust account. Trust can be seen as a metaphorical account with real impacts. When your company’s trust account is full, you can execute tasks at high speeds, for a low cost. However, when your trust account is drained, it takes a long time for jobs to be completed and those missions will cost your business considerably more.
Your Speed of Execution is a great indicator of trust
Trust is Money!
Another way to measure trust is by looking at finances. The reward for trust is financial prosperity. In a simple equation, high trust = thriving business economy. When reviewing finances, consistent patterns of high income reflect that both the internal and external trust accounts are full! However, when income is inconsistent, low, and unreliable, it is a very clear indicator that there is a lack of trust.
According to Katie Paine, to create a trust measurement system, you need to:
- Define who it is that you want to build trust with.
- Set goals and objectives that are measurable and most importantly realistic.
- Create your benchmark. Who or what are you comparing your results to?
- Choose the metrics that you will use to evaluate your outcomes.
- Choose a research methodology that you will use to get the results.
- Analyse outcomes and consistently re-measure and re-analyse.
So, if you are wanting to measure the amount of trust your company has with employees and customers, look at your execution speeds and what they are costing you! Consider following the six steps to creating a trust measurement system and evaluate the real and honest results of how trustworthy people perceive your company to be.
Once you know where trust is lacking, set up your construction site there and work to build what is missing!
If Trust is Everything, How Can You Build it?
Trust will take time to build, however, nothing will change if nothing changes! Trust begins at the top. The leadership must ensure they exhibit all the traits of trust, both on and off the battlefield!
What the leadership sets as the standard, becomes the culture. Create standards that are high and trustworthy!
Take action on behaviours that are damaging trust! Words are nothing more than air if they aren’t accompanied by actions that get results.
If you do not seek to measure the trust that people have in your company, you are risking more than you can afford.
Trust is everything! Measure it often, analyse it thoroughly and change what is not working!
How Do We Measure Trust – References
Ayers, K. (n.d.). Trust is the key to high performing organisations. Here’s how to build it.
Delizonna, L. (2017). High performing teams need phycological safety. Here’s how to create it. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2017/08/high-performing-teams-need-psychological-safety-heres-how-to-create-it
Gan Integrity. (n.d.). Transparency in business. Gan Integrity. https://www.ganintegrity.com/compliance-glossary/transparency-in-business/
Gleeson, B. (n.d.). 3 ways to measure trust and its economic impacts on your company. INC. https://www.inc.com/brent-gleeson/3-ways-to-measure-trust-and-its-economic-impact-on-your-company.html
Gleeson, B. (2017). Measuring trust and its impact on a company’s financial performance. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/brentgleeson/2017/05/17/measuring-trust-and-its-impact-on-a-companys-financial-performance/?sh=672c45a15dd2
Lampton, J. (2019). Transparency is the bedrock of ethics. Strategic Finance. https://sfmagazine.com/post-entry/september-2019-transparency-is-the-bedrock-of-ethics/#:~:text=Transparent%20workplaces%20facilitate%20healthy%20relationships,and%20wrongdoing%2C%20and%20offering%20praise.
Paine, K. D. (2016). Guidelines for measuring trust in organisations. Institute for Public Relations. https://instituteforpr.org/guidelines-for-measuring-trust-in-organizations-2/
Swaim, J. (2021). The social commodity. Jordan Taylor Swaim. https://jordantaylorswaim.medium.com/the-social-commodity-6b7cdf437900