Levels of Trust in Workplace Relationships: The Starting Point for Building a Trust Plan
Linda Allen-Hardisty, Queen’s IRC Facilitator, 2020
How do you define trust? How do you describe what trust means to you? Ask ten people and you will likely hear ten different responses. Because trust is personal. Our past experiences with building, keeping or losing trust really shape how we define trust.
For me, I define trust as having the belief that someone, or a company, will do what they say they will do and in with my best interest in mind. A tall order? Maybe, but never have the stakes been higher than in today’s volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous times - just think how fast social media posts move and how quickly information in spread. It’s no wonder that trust levels can come into question more than ever.
With this I mind, it is critical to consider what organizations can do to strengthen trust with their employees. What if trust could be viewed as objective instead of just feeling so personal? What if we could mark where trust is now, identify where we want to take it and map out a plan to do that? We tackle this question in our newly expanded Building Trust in the Workplace Program.
Trust relationships can be established between people, between people and organizations, organization to organization, and within society in general such as networks, systems and government institutions. Regardless of the parties, in my experience there are three levels of trust in any given relationship, and, due to various actions, the levels of trust can shift. A starting point is to know where the trust relationship level currently stands and then, to identify what level one would like the trust relationship to move towards.
Let’s consider these three levels of trust in relationships. As you read the descriptions, think of a specific relationship you have with a person in your workplace.
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HR’s Role in Developing Innovative Organizations
Dr. David Weiss, Queen’s IRC Facilitator, 2020
Being an innovative organization is far more than developing innovative products. It includes developing services, processes, business model innovation and even societal and policy innovations. Most innovation discoveries occur through convening diverse employees, teams, departments and organizations that combine perspectives, resulting in new ways of thinking and operating. Organizations need HR to drive innovation through the creation of leadership capacities, diverse team and organizational methodologies that allow innovation to flourish. Here are five areas of focus for HR’s role in developing innovative organizations.
1. Building Leaders of Innovation
HR drives innovation by building ‘leaders of innovation’. Leaders of innovation do not necessarily generate the innovative ideas themselves. Instead, they recognize innovation when they see it and work with diverse groups to gain insight and discover innovative solutions to complex issues. HR needs to hire individuals who are inherently capable of being leaders of innovation, promote them and develop that capability. They also need to build succession plans to ensure that future leaders can be leaders of innovation.
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