How to Build Trust Through Inclusive Leadership Development
One of the foundational ways a business continues to experience growth is through the building of trust with its consumer base, employees, leadership, investors, and causal followers.
Trust is the difference between making a sale or investing time and financial resources trying to convince consumers to do business with your organization.
Trust is the difference between lifelong employees that are invested in the growth of your company or a team whose only goal is to punch the clock trying to get through what they feel is just a job to them.
Trust is hard to earn and easy to lose — but it’s a currency that’s worth pursuing. With an audience, consumer base, and team that’s built on trust, you create lifetime customers that purchase every version of a new product or service your business produces. It creates a team that treats your company as if they were stakeholders — even if they aren’t.
One of the reasons businesses stall, burn out, or fail is because they’re continually churning customers and employees.
A business creates and increases sales through creative marketing and the right offer. Customers invest an initial level of trust. After the sale, trust is earned through the business delivering on its promise — and that’s more than the widget (the product or service). It’s the same for the hiring and retaining of leadership and team members.
When a business fails to live up to its promises, the customers and employees lose trust and stop doing business with that company. The organization then repeats the cycle until it’s churning more customers and employees than retaining.
At some point, the music stops, and someone is left standing without a chair. This churning creates a business that’s lost trust and a mob of consumers and former employees that take loudly to social media (and various channels) to tell other consumers to avoid doing business with the company.
We see this played out every day with companies of all sizes. How does it get to that point? And more importantly, what are the lessons for your business?
Consumers Want Modern Leadership
Right now, business leaders, and organizations are scrambling to retain trust with their consumer base. All eyes are on businesses to address how a company implements diverse and inclusive leadership development practices.
Consumers know the real thing when they see it. Surface levels efforts are what upset customers and employees. Customers will do business with a brand that stays true to its values and lives up to its brand promise. The conversation about race, gender equality, and inclusion is an important discussion that needs to be addressed.
For real change to happen, there has to be an evaluation of current procedures. It’s a great time to address any opportunities to change your business regarding diversity and inclusion. It’s a window to take steps that build more trust with your consumers and employees, and that leads to a stronger company.
Inclusive leadership development means you look at the external and internal communication of your business — is it inclusive of race, age, and gender? You evaluate your hiring and team-building practices. Do you have clear directives on inclusive hiring and team growth strategies?
You look for ways to get involved in inclusive causes. Are there organizations or initiatives you could be involved in that align with your company values? You take a step back and see how your values throughout every part of your business are being portrayed. Are you staying true to the founding principles of your company?
You plan for the future and understand employees expect more. Are you building an innovative and agile business?
Employees Want More
The average workweek is longer these days and much different. A Gallup poll says that the typical workweek is 47 hours long. Considering that a large contingent of employees now works from home, there can be a melding of work and life.
That is a significant portion of your employee’s week spent doing a job they either love or hate. When employees are spending that much of their team working for a company, they feel doesn’t represent their values, it will show in their production and the quality of their work.
If your goal is to build a company that can withstand the unexpected circumstances of growth, you’ll need leadership development strategies that make employees and consumers feel as if you understand and are committed to diverse and inclusive growth.
It’s time to have an honest conversation about values, commitment, and inclusive leadership. It’s a great time to get clarity on the efforts your company will make towards diversity and inclusion.
The growth of your business depends on it. Whether you’re the CEO or a department head, you have the ability to foster trust in your employees and consumers.
Written by Raj Subrameyer.
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