Paul Zak discovered eight key factors, or principles, in promoting trust in the workplace. In The Neuroscience of Trust he describes the research over several years that yielded these insights and gives examples of companies who implement these principles. The return on investment is more energy and greater productivity.
“Ultimately, you cultivate trust by setting a clear direction, giving people what they need to see it through, and getting out of their way.
It’s not about being easy on your employees or expecting less from them. High-trust companies hold people accountable but without micromanaging them. They treat people like responsible adults.”
#1 Recognition: Trust improves when we are recognized by our peers and the organization.
#2 Moderate stress through challenging assignments: We like to be challenged and this gives us energy. These are often called stretch assignments and are part of the 20% in the 70:20:10 framework
#3 Autonomy to make decisions: This is aligned with Self-determination Theory
#4 Autonomy on what to work on: This aligns with my self-governance maturity model
#5 Openness of information: Trust emerges through openness and transparency, in my opinion.
#6 Relationships: Once again, this aligns with Relatedness in self-determination theory (above).
#7 Opportunities for professional development: Also part of the 20% in the 70:20:10 framework
#8 Vulnerability: Transparency makes us vulnerable to each other and sets the stage for trust to develop.