Growing Your Company With Trust

Written by Kevin Martlage

This month we are focusing on the culture of your business and how you can continue to work towards developing and providing a supportive and nurturing environment for your employees, customers, and those your business serves. So far this month we have discussed the importance of a strong business culture and its positive impact on the success of your team and company. We have also discussed how intentional and transparent communication can build trust which is the life blood of any successful company and team.

Trust is present in almost everything we do as a tree care professional so why is it not always a critical consideration in our approach with our teams and our company? When I think about trust in the tree care industry, there are numerous things that come to mind. For example:

  • Climbers have TRUST in their climbing equipment that the manufacturer made it safe.
  • Our customers TRUST that we have a level of knowledge to ensure we properly take care of their tree.
  • We TRUST that our customers will pay us the amount of money agreed to in our accepted work proposal.
  • Our customers TRUST that we will do the work to the best of our ability and according to the work order.
  • Our crews TRUST that as owners we will provide a certain framework and resources to do the work we are asking them to complete.
  • We TRUST our crews to do the work with a high level of safety, accuracy, and professionalism.
  • Climbers TRUST that the person who might be belaying their rope will not let go!
  • Climbers TRUST that their review of a tree and their equipment before using SRT will ensure their safety if they follow the proper procedures.
  • Tree Care Owners TRUST that Arborisk will have their best interest in mind as they insure their company.

Trust is evident in everything we do regardless of if you are a climber in a 50-foot oak, the ground crew member clearing and chipping brush, or the owner of 5-person, or 500-person tree care company.

There are also examples of trust in our personal lives which is what we probably all think of first when we hear the word trust. I am certain you can probably identify a negative situation which had a root cause of trust being challenged or not being present. If you review that situation close enough, I can almost guarantee that if trust was present the situation would have been resolved more efficiently while helping to continue to build the foundation of trust for any potential future situations with that person. You could also probably agree that trust was challenged in that situation because both sides were not on the same page or made up their own “story” about what was going on.

Bottom line, without trust we are left to our own mind and resources to try and figure it out, to tell the “story” and to protect ourselves, which can lead to confusion, lost productivity, and misalignment among our staff, colleagues, friends, and family. 

So why then do I call trust the life blood of any successful company and team?

The reason trust is so vitally important to success is because without trust, you are enabling your team to get sidetracked as they try to understand your decisions, question your intent, protect themselves, or simply feel comfortable about being on the same page with you. In extreme circumstances, a lack of trust can even help foster resentment and the need to be defensive and always right which ultimately takes away from collaborative progress and success of the team. 

Building Trust is sometimes difficult for organizations because it must be intentionally built over time. Much like a personal relationship or friendship, it takes work and intentional focus on providing the context, intent, and insight regarding your thoughts and approach. Whether you are interacting with a friend or a member of your team, trust is always on stage, and either being built or broken depending on the situation and conversation.   

There are numerous ways to build trust among your team and within your organization. However, there is one thing that can kickstart your journey of building trust. You must first start by looking inward as a leader to understand how you are impacting trust within your own company. To do this, I would recommend asking yourself these questions:

  • What “stories” might my team be trying to figure out?
  • How can I always provide a great experience of understanding and collaboration for my team?
  • What are some things that I may be questioning? Chances are my team is too.
  • How is a lack of trust impacting the productivity of the company and team?

By looking inward, you can then start to identify some key areas where you can adjust your leadership approach. These adjustments, while unique to you, should be centered around the following:

  • Always ensuring you are providing transparent and intentional communication
  • Providing information designed to help eliminate the need to “make up their own story”
  • Communicating your intent by providing the desired outcome and reasons behind your decisions

Providing insight in a transparent and intentional manner, will allow your team the opportunity to build trust with you because they understand the intent and reason behind your decisions, communication, and direction of the company. You are helping to eliminate the unknown and offering a collaborative approach to the direction of the company.

A culture built on trust will help to empower you team to make sound decision without the fear of betrayal or misunderstanding. Trust will also help to create a team that will be focused and aligned on moving the organization forward instead of being consumed by trying to answer the unknown or making up their own stories or direction. Trust is certainly difficult to build, and it takes times, however the return on that investment will pay dividends that will help to build a foundation for your company that is both sustainable and flexible.

As you build trust I guarantee it will become the X factor regarding your organization and be the secret sauce that takes you to the next level, helps to retain your employees, and streamlines your operations. This will ultimately help you enhance your ability of being the place where everyone wants to work, and your customers want to do business with. Thus, making Trust one of the most important ingredients to the sustainability, success, and growth of your company.

For additional help with growing trust within your company, contact a member of the ArboRisk Insurance teamIf you’re looking to improve upon your communication skills or want to help one of your key team members develop personally, sign up for the Thrive Leadership Development package today! Additionally, if you find it difficult to find or keep quality employees, check out our Thrive Hiring & Recruiting Package.

As part of ArboRisk’s Thrive family, we are also offering a FREE business culture self-assessment to help you begin to identify some ways in which you can continue to enhance your company’s culture. The assessment is extremely easy to complete and will take you less than 5 minutes. Following the completion of your assessment, you will receive a summary of recommended areas of impact to consider as you continue to enhance your company culture. 

Tom Dunn