Why Trust in the Workplace is Critical

For decades, alarms have sounded about declining engagement. Yet companies continue to struggle with toxic cultures, and the low productivity and unhappiness that go with them.

Why is -culture- so difficult to improve? What makes so many good employees check out? It seems that innate brain functions hold the answers. It all boils down to trust.

People work more effectively – and deliver better results for their companies – when they are working in trusted cultures, such as an environment where workers are not reprimanded or fired if they make a mistake.

If you want innovation, then you need to let people make mistakes. Innovation requires taking a risk, and people need to know that’s OK.

When someone shows you trust, a feel-good jolt of oxytocin surges through your brain and triggers you to reciprocate. This simple mechanism creates a perpetual trust-building cycle–the key to changing stubborn workplace patterns.

In other words, it’s the oxytocin that is the biological underpinning for the Golden Rule. If you treat me nice, my brain makes oxytocin, signaling that you are a person whom I want to be around, so I treat you nice in return.

Summing-up: It’s important that leaders understand that it’s the oxytocin that makes employees want to be part of a company. Employees get rewards from their brains for cooperating and treating others well, including being trustworthy when they are trusted. Trust begets trust.

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