TRUST is worth more than you think.
Turbo's Cultural Benchmark Survey (CBS) is a state of the art analytical procedure that reveals the strengths and weaknesses of organizations. And even though the CBS was developed over 20 years ago, while working with a client in Hawaii, I was once again reminded that trust is the most important result of the process.
The CBS is the first step of the process that helps clients determine the priority actions that must be taken to improve morale, communication and performance. In order for the process to be successful, Turbo must establish a rapport with the employees so that their trust is secured. Only then will employees openly share their honest responses to all of the survey questions, and take the time and thought to give us editorial responses in addition to filling out the multiple choice survey questions.
Conducting carry-back meetings is the second step in the CBS process. It's when I go back to meet with the employees and show them the cumulative results of the survey, asking, "What can management do to improve things so that if I do come back in a year and ask you these same questions, you will score them higher?" And it was during this second step with my Hawaiian client that I experienced the WOW! reminder.
Because we had already met once before in the branch office in Hawaii (Yes, tough job, but someone HAS to do it.), I had already gotten to know a number of the key people. After a long day of conducting several carry-back meetings, the branch manager asked if I would like to go out to dinner. "Certainly," I said, and a few minutes later, half a dozen of us were seated in a beautiful Chinese restaurant having a fabulous meal, talking about many different things, including our kids. During
this discussion, a key team member told of how he and his wife had "repaired" their house before their children were born so that he could be sure to have boys, not girls. What he said was not suitable for reprint in this piece. He thought it was funny. And as the branch manager was driving me back to my hotel, I said, "You need to do something about the behavior of the man who made the crude comment. You are at risk. What your mid-level manager said was embarrassing to me, and it could have been offensive to some others at the table."
The next morning an email arrived on the computer of the corporate Vice President of Human Resources in Portland documenting the incident. It was sent by a female manager who had attended the dinner at the Chinese restaurant and was offended by the remark of her colleague. Then I received a phone call from the same woman saying, "These things have happened many times in the past, but this time, since I had you at the table, a neutral third party I trusted, who I knew would support me, I finally had a chance to bring this to the attention of corporate human resources, knowing that I would have your backing and support. I could never have spoken up before."
The branch manager was upset that the female manager in his office hadn't approached him about the inappropriate comment, yet she had a perfectly good reason as to why she didn't – the branch manager had not earned her trust.
Without trust you cannot lead. Trust is priceless. If trust is missing, you will miss your target. When trust is present, you will out-perform your competitors who lack this competitive advantage.