Building trust – in business and the workplace

The Oxford Learners Dictionaries define Trust as :
1 : to have confidence in somebody; to believe that somebody is good, sincere, honest, etc.
2 : to believe that something is true or correct or that you can rely on it 

“Trust” is a hot topic in the management and business literature at the moment.  Trust in leadership, trust in business, trust in teams .  What all agree on is that trust is an extremely important component in a workplace.

Some recent quick reads on Trust include :
In leaders we trust : how to build and inspire trust in 2022
Good leadership is about trust. Trust is the essential factor for success and is foundational for an organization to evolve, flex, pivot, adapt, and ultimately thrive in times of continuous change.

In the HBR’s How business can build and maintain trust author Tim Ryan,  U.S. chair of PwC and founder of the Trust Leadership Institute, writes that … “trust is fragile and businesses must manage it as carefully as they do their balance sheets… He details where consumers and business leaders agree on which actions drive trust and offers three takeaways for the business community: 1) It’s time for business to galvanize around trust and transparency; 2) To build trust, leaders must communicate the why behind their decisions; and 3) Leaders need to act with integrity, courage, and vulnerability.”

Leadership behaviors that diminish trust outlines “… four leadership behaviors that diminish trust and what to do instead.”

For longer reads, check out the following in the WCL book collection :

The trusted leader : bringing out the best in your people and your company / Galford, Robert M.
“Based on highly specific research and experience that covers a wide spectrum of managers and organizations, The Trusted Leader identifies the three critical types of trust that leaders need to master: strategic trust, organizational trust, and personal trust. It introduces a practical and effective formula for building organizational confidence, and provides a unique analysis of the obstacles to trust and the sources of resistance to the building of trust inside organizations. Through a series of interactive exercises, executives will learn how to determine where trust is missing and how it can be supplemented in people, departments, and even whole companies. Perhaps most timely are the book’s series of diagnostic tools and skills that help executives rebuild trust that has been broken or betrayed.”–BOOK JACKET.” (Catalogue)

Breaking the trust barrier : how leaders close the gaps for high performance / Venable, JV
“For former US Airforce Thunderbirds’ commander and demonstration leader JV Venable, inspiring teamwork was literally a matter of life and death. On maneuvers the distance between jets was just 18 inches. Closing the gaps to sustain that kind of separation requires the highest levels of trust. On the ground or in the air, from line supervisor to CEO, we all face the same challenge. Our job is to entice those we lead to close the gaps that slow the whole team down – gaps in commitment, loyalty, and trust. Every bit of closure requires your people to let go of biases and mental safeguards that hold them back. The process the Thunderbirds use to break that barrier and craft the highest levels of trust on a team with an annual turnover of 50% is nothing short of phenomenal. That process is packaged in this book with tips and compelling stories that will help you build the team of a lifetime.” (Catalogue)

Principled : 10 leadership practices for building trust / Browning, Paul
“When trust is destroyed in the workplace, how do you restore it? In the era of #metoo, ‘fake news’ and ‘alternative facts’ few would dispute that we face a global crisis around trust in the workplace and more broadly in society. When the CSIRO released its Australian National Outlook 2019, it identified trust as one of the future key challenges the nation faces in relation to governments, business, non-government organisations and the media. It is less likely that a company will be able to innovate and remain competitive if trust is low or absent. Prominent Australian educator Paul Browning faced this situation when the school he led became embroiled in The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Principled draws on Browning’s first-hand experience of navigating an organisation through this highly public ethical crisis and outlines the challenges he faced as a leader. Bringing together evidence-based research and over 20 years of management experience, Paul Browning offers timely advice on the 10 key practices that can help executives build and develop skills to become more trustworthy leaders.” (Catalogue)

Digital body language : how to build trust & connection, no matter the distance / Dhawan, Erica
“From Erica Dhawan, co-author of Get Big Things Done, the definitive guide to communicating and connecting wherever you are. Email replies that show up a week later. Video chats full of ‘oops sorry no you go’ and ‘can you hear me?!’ Ambiguous text-messages. Weird punctuation you can’t make heads or tails of. Is it any wonder communication takes us so much time and effort to figure out? How did we lose our innate capacity to understand each other? Humans rely on body language to connect and build trust, but with most of our communication happening from behind a screen, traditional body language signals are no longer visible — or are they? In Digital Body Language, Erica Dhawan, a go-to thought leader on collaboration and a passionate communication junkie, combines cutting edge research with engaging storytelling to decode the new signals and cues that have replaced traditional body language across genders, generations, and culture. In real life, we lean in, uncross our arms, smile, nod and make eye contact to show we listen and care. Online, reading carefully is the new listening. Writing clearly is the new empathy. And a phone or video call is worth a thousand emails. Digital Body Language will turn your daily misunderstandings into a set of collectively understood laws that foster connection, no matter the distance. Dhawan investigates a wide array of exchanges–from large conferences and video meetings to daily emails, texts, IMs, and conference calls–and offers insights and solutions to build trust and clarity to anyone in our ever changing world”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

If you need more information please contact the Prosearch team at the library.  We can help you find information across a range of perspectives and resources.  All enquiries are treated in confidence.

Women in trades

Currently, women make up only 13 percent of all employees in the New Zealand construction industry.

According to a new survey, employers are keen to hire more women, but they need support to do it.

It seems a good fit – with more than 20,000 woman estimated to have lost their jobs last year due to the impact of Covid on different sectors and New Zealand trades suffering a skill and labour shortage, how could more women be encouraged into the trades and the trades be supported to employ and train women?

In this article Fiona Clark notes that employing more women in the trades is, simply, good for business.

Residential clients, in particular, enjoy having female tradies on site, and women often report they feel more comfortable having them in the house.

However, being a woman in a traditionally male dominated trade can bring challenges.  Advice and support for employees and employers can be found in the Women in Trades collective

Women in Trades (WIT) is a not-for-profit that promotes trades and trades training as a viable career option to women and employers.

If you are a woman looking for a job in the trades or a tradie seeking a woman for role then check out the TradeCareers pilot programme where we connect tradies ready to work with women and women ready to work with tradies. 

If you need more information please contact the Prosearch team at the library. We can help you find information across a range of perspectives and resources. All enquiries are treated in confidence.

Toxic work cultures

IN recent weeks reports have emerged about the toxic culture impacting several New Zealand organisations and the impacts on the health and wellbeing of those who work for or with those organisations.

A toxic work environment is one where there is, among many things,  mistrust of others, high turn over of staff, bullying, lack of communication, unrealistic goals and general incivility towards others.

This environment has implications not only for individuals but also organisational productivity and reputation.  
In 2003 Andrea Needham wrote the first book on Workplace Bullying  (since updated) and this info is still relevant today.

More recently (2020) MBIE released an issues paper on Bullying and Harassment at work

outlining  “…what we know about the nature and extent of bullying and harassment at work in New Zealand,” along with examining current systems for preventing and responding to such behaviour.

WCL’s collection also has a range of resources for those who find themselves facing the challenges of a toxic workplace.

The article How to Deal With a Work Bully lists some steps for coping when faced with a nasty workmate.

Bully blocking at work : a self-help guide for employees and managers (2012) by Evelyn M. Field can be downloaded in e-book format

Written by an experienced psychologist this book helps the reader to understand the toxic, destructive impact of bullying on all employees — whether they are targets, bullies or onlookers — and provides advice for coping and confronting bullying, from both a personal and organisational perspective.

Also available for download as an e-book is :

How to deal with toxic people : clever ways to handle manipulative, difficult, & sensitive people using emotional intelligence (2018) By Bob Scott

While common in the workplace, toxic people are also encountered in families and social relationships.  This book highlights “… several ways of dealing with difficult, immature and toxic people” and reveals how to “deal with several traits accompanied with social toxicity” as well as advising how to manage your emotions and responses around toxic behaviors.

For those seeking an audiobook resource there is Robert Sutton’s  The asshole survival guide : how to deal with people who treat you like dirt (2017)

Stanford professor Robert Sutton offers practical advice on identifying and tackling any kind of asshole — based on research into groups from uncivil civil servants to French bus drivers, and 8,000 emails that he has received on asshole behaviour. With expertise and humour, he provides a cogent and methodical game-plan to fight back.

In print, and available when library doors are once again open to the public is this new addition from Peter Economy

Wait, I’m working with who?!? : the essential guide to dealing with difficult coworkers, annoying managers, and other toxic personalities (2021)

Described as “… the go-to guide on working with anyone in your office–from the difficult or negative to the toxic and destructive–whether they are your manager, a team member, or someone who’s just waiting out the clock. Chock-full of useful advice that will make your workday happier and more productive.

If you need more information please contact the Prosearch team at the library.  We can help you find information across a range of perspectives and resources.  All enquiries are treated in confidence.


Sound advice for companies who are contemplating the post Covid-19 workplace

Firstly, from a New Zealand perspective there is quite a bit of information out there. Hopefully, I have retrieved some posts which will inspire and support you.

Running a business in challenging times -MYOB Business preparation Guide. The second edition of the MYOB Business Preparedness Guide, looks at some of the key areas business can focus on, adapt and invest in as they seek to navigate the ‘new normal’ created by coronavirus

New Zealand Business after Covid-19 In a special Business series four well known founders/business commentators give their thoughts on how they think NZ businesses will respond.

What comes next: 4 perspectives on post-pandemic preparation
NZ technology and digital chiefs’ responses to COVID-19 guide their business continuity plans for the emerging work environment

What lies on the other side of lockdown and elimination? Part 1 of a special Spinoff series in which Duncan Grieve looks at a number of sectors which will be worst hit by the aftermath of Covid-19. Part two looks at the winners and losers.