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How to build trust in an Organization?

Trust is an important part of any organization. Any and every company that has a point of contact with other stakeholders (which means people) has the option of building trust. There are several touch points between a company and its stakeholders. These stakeholders are both within and outside the company. They include customers, employees, shareholders, government, union, suppliers, distributors etc. The interaction with each of these stakeholders should involve trust. An honest and fruitful relation with all stakeholders of the company leads to overall excellence in brand building and organizational culture.

Trust is something we cannot truly put down in words but something which the company communicates without speaking any word. Trust can be built in the following ways:

Communicate: Communication is an important part of building trust. Any good relation is built on effective communication. Communication supersedes silence. There can be no brand or image building of the company with its end user/consumer without communication, there can be no trust between a manager and his peers/subordinates without communication. Communication forms the key to all human relations. In a world which is fast moving where relations between friends, family and subordinates can be ruined in the blink of an eyelid, communication stands tall as a key enabler to all trust that transpires.

When in doubt, Disclose: In the event of any crisis it is important to communicate with all stakeholders concerned. Being open and transparent is an effective communication skill which involves building trust. It is said that the best thing to do in times of crises is be open and forthright. In today’s internet age, information can be easily leaked and it is best for the company itself to release a press statement at the earliest and convey all the points factually and systematically.

Meritocracy: Companies like Infosys are known the world over for their Meritocracy. Companies which reward performance over everything else are more likely to do well in the long run and are more likely to build trust in the long run. A company that rewards merit has nothing to hide. Infosys is know for its high ethical standards in dealing with all its stakeholders. Such reputations are built over decades and attract the right people. Having an open and congenial environment attracts likeminded people who wish to function in the same way.

Treat people equally and well: Every human life has the right to dignity. Each and every individual has the right to be treated fairly without caste, creed, language and sex being an issue. In today’s fast moving world people have access to information and information is the key. Such a well-informed set of people would not likely tolerate any form of treatment which is substandard. And the way you treat people both within and outside the company speaks volumes of the trust you build

The event of 26/11/2008 can be cited as an example when Taj Hotels under Tata Group treated each customer located at the hotel ( in the aftermath of the terrorist attack ) with courtesy and dignity. The hotel staff was lauded for putting the customer before themselves. The Taj group is often cited as the gold standard in Indina hospitality and the reason was there for everyone to see in the way they managed the terrorist attack of 26/11. The group gave customers primary importance on that fateful day and built trust that speaks volumes.


Karan S Haji

KSH – Human Resource Consultants