Building a Trusing Workplace #1

A reader asked that I expand on four ideas listed in my February 9th blog “Overcoming Commoditization with Your People.”   Research shows that loyal customers (not just “satisfied” ones) are created by loyal employees.  How do we get loyal employees?  By creating a trusting workplace – an environment in which everyone is engaged in working together to serve the customer and generate a profit in doing so.


I mentioned four things that are important in creating a trusting work culture. (Click here to read that blog entry.) 


The first was identifying the ethics-based values on which the company or enterprise is based.  I mentioned the Dov Sideman book, How and his studies of what make people or an enterprise successful.  In the book, he quotes the work of Dr. Paul Zak in identifying what causes people to trust others.  At the risk of over-simplifying, Dr. Zak’s work shows that when you treat people with trust, they tend to trust you back.  In other words, the “golden rule,” or doing to others what you’d want them to do to you, actually works.


In his book, Integrity Selling for the 21st Century, author Ron Willingham gives what he calls “The Law of Psychological Reciprocity,” which states:  “People tend to give us back the same feelings, attitudes and responses that we give them.”


What does this mean?  Corporations or other groups should have an ethical, or moral, basis for their corporate values.  These values should be simple and easy to understand, and easy for people to remember.  One client had as a cornerstone of their call center values, “Easy to reach, easy to do business with.”  Their corporate values were seven statements of what it meant to work according to their corporate “style.”  Seven is a lot to remember, but it worked for them.


In my opinion corporate values should mention how the employees treat each other, and how they relate to their customers or clients.  The bottom line is that loyal employees (who create loyal customers) respond to a “golden rule” approach to their organization values. When these values are lived up to, they form an excellent foundation for building a trusting workplace.

Submitted by J. Mark Walker


3 Responses to “Building a Trusing Workplace #1”

  1. edrstone Says:

    Great article!

  2. Todd Schnick Says:

    Mark – thank you for expanding on these ideas. It is much appreciated!

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