Creating trust and result in tough times

By January 6th, 2021Commit Works
Creating trust and result in tough times

Commitment management leads to high trust workplaces and significantly improved results.

In times like these, companies respond to tough market conditions by cutting costs, stopping projects and making people redundant. However they risk losing the trust of the workforce and the frontline leaders who are left behind. It can take a lot of leadership and effort to rebuild this trust and when the pressure is on to deliver results it can be hard to even think about this, let alone act on it.

At Fewzion we believe successful organizations are driven by a series of commitments that people make to each other and deliver on.

The problem is that it’s really difficult to do this reliably in most organizations despite expensive planning and ERP systems.

In a business where there are many departments and teams across multiple shifts and roster patterns it can be extremely tough to coordinate work at the frontline. You end up with maintenance vs production vs services vs technical vs operations tensions. These must be resolved if you want to coordinate safe and effective work at the frontline.

ERPs and siloed planning tools don’t help as they only increase the false confidence of the planners in those silos. People make commitments within their teams in good faith without understanding that they are part of a larger team that has to play together. This results in a game where the forwards won’t give the backs the ball and the backs don’t trust the forwards when they have it. You simply can’t win like this. Meanwhile the captain on the field (the supervisor) has to work together with everyone and to be successful needs a high quality plan for the whole game.

Another problem frequently observed is the lack of interest in reality (as owned by operational people) from technical staff. Technical staff often see their role as planning for the future and resist being dragged into the day-to-day reality of the operation. But what if the reality on the ground is not as it was designed or imagined, the technical team needs to help adjust the design and plan to meet the needs of the operations team. The operations team needs to be heard so that they can avoid waste and rework to utilize their equipment effectively at good rates, designs need to be respected so that the right dirt is moved at the right time to hit important deadlines.

While these issues remain true, trust remains low and results remain poor.

What would happen if your team could see all work planned for the coming week in one place and collectively make tradeoffs in the best interests of the business. What if supervisors and their crew could see the plan for the next few days in advance so that they can prepare for the work and avoid reasonably foreseeable issues before they occur. What if supervisors could track their performance and create tasks for themselves and their colleagues in the field. What if managers are able to share where the business is going and their “commander’s intent”, and ask great questions that cause people to think.

In their paper “Building Workplace Trust 2014/15”, Interaction Associates correlate higher trust workplaces to significantly improved results than those of low trust workplaces.

High-Trust Companies are 2 ½ times more likely to be High Performing Organizations relative to Trust Laggards. Trust Leaders are better at revenue growth, profit growth, cost reduction, competitive market position, demonstrating company values, and achieving predictable business results.

High-Trust Companies involve employees, and retain them better as a result. High-Trust Companies are far more likely than Low-Trust to have highly engaged and involved workforces and better employee retention.

Trust Leaders prioritize innovation, and are more likely than other companies to be innovative. What’s more, 8 out of 10 employees report that a high level of trust inside an organization fosters both innovation and investment in new projects.

At Fewzion we believe that an effective commitment management system is the key to building a “high trust” workplace.

At its foundation, trust must be earned through individual exchanges and behaviors—it does not come with a job title or seniority in an organization. Earning trust requires consistency, predictability, and transparency. The difference in the prevalence of trust building behaviors and practices between Trust Leaders and all other organizations is stark. This gap reinforces that trust is affected by what we do—leadership behaviors—and can be systematically constructed through focused, deliberate leadership practices.

“Building Workplace Trust 2014/15”, Interaction Associates

This research reinforces the importance of being purposeful in combining management systems with leadership behaviours to create sustainable, high trust habits. The key to this is a “System” that makes it much easier for people to behave in a high-trust manner than not.

Operations using a commitment management system to manage their site are delivering greater than 30% improvements in production whilst also reducing costs. If you want better results in these tough times, you need a sustainable and effective “commitment system” that creates a high trust work place and reliably delivers world class financial and safety results.

Fewzion is the world’s first commitment management system. Contact us for a free demo.

Leave a Reply