Companies are funny in how heavily they are anchored to things that result directly in financial profits. As soon as things get tough, the bottom line is the only thing that matters and ancillary resources such as training, HR and R&D/innovation are the first to get cut. But these ancillary skill-sets are often the ones needed to help get your business out of survival mode and to continue to march successfully into the future.
Which leads to the following question:
How much do you trust your staff?
This is one of those questions that gets a similar response to how accessible are you to your team? Senior staff are often inclined to say yes very quickly only for more junior staff to point out all the ways in which it may not be the case. Admittedly, there are many ways to display trust and how much we perceive the trust being afforded to us depends on how much we value different types of responsibilities or powers. For example, being trusted with making a decision may be far more impactful for one person while another may believe they are well trusted when they’re not questioned.
When it comes to innovation, encouraging creativity is a non-negotiable for Adobe. Their innovation kit Adobe Kickbox provides a step by step instruction set for staff to brainstorm and get creative. The test of faith for leadership is that within this big red box is a $1000 pre-paid credit card that staff can spend however they choose. No if’s ands or buts.
Admittedly, you don’t need to spend piles of money to encourage creativity and innovation but the above example is definitely a way to demonstrate your trust in your team and the value you place on their contributions. Other ways to show that you’re invested in and trusting of your team include setting aside time for them to pursue training and development or to volunteer, offering flexible working hours or encouraging your team to take risks and try new things.
So how do you demonstrate trust in your team?