At the Fresh Tracks office we recently got together as a team look at the issue of trust. It made me realise how much we take trust for granted when it’s there, and how much extra work a lack of trust can create.
Although our session included event managers, admin staff and senior managers, it was fairly informal and allowed participants to look at their own views on trust – how and why trust is important at work and at home; what does trust mean to the individual and to the team; what would happen if there was little or no trust in colleagues.
In our team, it soon became apparent that there is quite a huge amount of trust; everyone seemed to take it for granted that they would be trusted and that they would in turn trust their colleagues. For us that makes for an easy and friendly work environment, part of the reason we choose to work here at Fresh Tracks. But it also made me realise that trust is ultimately at the heart of this office culture.
Trust means you communicate without hidden agendas; you share information and resources; you rely on your colleagues to help out when required and put your hand up when you get things wrong without fear of huge recriminations. It made me think of other organisations I’ve worked in where the culture was perhaps less trusting and a bit more reliant on rules and regulations. Unfortunately that generally meant more silo-based working, re-invention of wheels – and more stress.
Although I don’t want to be too Pollyana-ish about it (after all, in some organisations – as we’ve seen recently – stricter rules and regulations wouldn’t have come amiss) a culture in which we all generally think (and expect) the best of each other can’t help but be a positive one.