How can trust help across the employee life cycle


Definition: to believe that someone is good and honest and will not harm you, or that something is safe and reliable. (Cambridge Dictionary).

Trust – a simple 5 letter word that underpins our moral fibre. How can trust help across the employee life cycle?

Optimum has 4 pillars to our business:

Attract – trust applies to the hiring process, in interviews (you know that gut feel where you just don’t trust the person but can’t put your finger on it?). You trust your colleagues to sell the company.

Engage – using our survey tools (EmployeeLife and Tandem Surveys) we measure trust in leadership, trust and confidence in the organisation.

Develop – possibly the most important use of trust – opening up to your manager and how you really feel is hard but with trust this is easier.

Retain – if trust is present then you are more likely to stay with your manager or organisation.

Our Mission here at Optimum is:

We believe in the inherent goodness of people and that good people make great organisations.”

One of our values is Trust.

As an organisation we should therefore have a strong ethos, and I believe we do – our customers trust us to deliver.

So, do we get it wrong? Well yes of course we do as we are dealing with people!

Here is the thing: if we are too trusting some people will abuse it – some folks are just out for themselves.

If you are too cynical, people will accuse you of not trusting them, which leads to dis-engagement.

You can’t win so what is the magic sauce of organisational trust?

I use Patrick Lencioni’s 5 Dysfunctions of a team in a lot of leadership workshops and although an old model I think it still resonates.

Here is the basic concept:

Trust is the first thing to get right in a team and probably needs to start at the top of the organisation.

Think of trust as the foundation of a house – if you don’t have strong foundations your house will not be stable – you can’t move on to the next big rock.


In a team of high trust here are some of the magic things that can happen:

  • Motivation
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Performance increases
  • Communication is consistent
  • People have each other’s back
  • Customers are retained and won by trust

So, as we head into uncertain times, a new financial year for some and a revised / new strategy ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do I trust the strategy?
  2. Do I trust my team to execute the strategy?
  3. Do our customers trust us?

If the answer is yes, you should be on the way to success, if the answer is no then contact us to see how we can help.

General Manager – Consulting

Stephen joined Optimum in 2015 as the General Manager of the Consulting practice based in Brisbane. Stephen brought with him vast experience across HR consulting and executive recruitment, having previously worked for a global top tier talent management organisation and market leading companies.

Stephen has worked in the UK, Middle East and AsiaPac and adopts a solutions orientated, individual approach to all clients. He is dedicated to the development of the Consulting Practice nationally as well as providing quality delivery of projects.

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