School of Business Affairs - October -2017

16 OCTOBER 2017 | SCHOOL BUSINESS AFFAIRS The Value of Trusting Relationships As leaders, we need to continually evaluate how trust is affecting our district’s overall health. By Sandra M. Edling, MBA, PRSBA LEADING FORWARD one is excited about his or her role in the success of the organization. Conversely, organizations that exhibit a low level of trust within their staff are slow to adapt to changing conditions, both internally and externally. These organiza- tions have built up silos, keeping offices and programs from work- ing collaboratively. Generally, these organizations have a higher level of turnover and more finger-pointing and manipulation. Neither the orga- nization nor the employees will be successful in this environment. According to Helliwell and Huang (2011), a 10% increase in trust in an organization has the same effect on employee satisfaction as a 36% increase in pay. As leaders, we need to continually evaluate how trust (or the lack thereof) is affecting our dis- trict’s overall health. Take a moment and think about your district. Do all departments collaborate well? Are deadlines being met? What is the level of trust within the district and within your department? The Qualitative (Feeling) Aspect Think about a colleague with whom you have a high-trust relationship. What is it like to work with that per- son? How simple is communication with him or her? How long does it take to get things done? What results are you able to achieve? Now, think about a person with whom you have a low-trust relation- ship. W hat would we do with more time each day to accomplish our work? What if we trusted our staff members to do their jobs well, freeing our time to get through that pile of papers on our desk? In his book The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything , Stephen M. R. Covey (2006) encourages us to look past the traditional concepts of using time effectively and offers us an alternate means of evaluating organi- zational effectiveness. He shows how trust—and the speed at which it is established with clients, employees, and constituents—is the essential ingredient for any successful, high- performing organization. Types of Organizations Let’s first take a look at two very different types of organizations: one in which the organization has a high level of trust in its employees and one in which the organization has a low level of trust in its employees. Staff members within organiza- tions that exemplify a high level of trust function as a collaborative team at all levels. These organiza- tions foster innovation and engage with internal and external stake- holders for the collective good of all parties. Communication is open, effi- cient, and effective. Team members are valued, are encouraged to offer innovative ideas, and provide con- structive feedback to one another. Employee morale is high, and every- MICHAELJUNG/STOCK.ADOBE.COM