Promoting a trust culture is all about caring for the others and be able to empathize and ask the question “How can I help you?”.

“It’s about attending to the other, which means paying attention to one another, listening with fascination to each other, understanding what they think their challenge is, empathizing and then taking intelligent and supportive action to help each other.” As we mentioned on our last post “Culture eats strategy for breakfast - If you do not invest time and resources in change management, people and cultural issues will eat all your anticipated synergies for breakfast—and your entire company for lunch.”

Because culture 'sets the tone' for an organization, if that culture is negative it can undermine the effectiveness of the best programs, policies, and services intended to support the workforce. An unhealthy culture creates more stress in the workplace, which lowers employee well-being. If an organization has a culture of 'profit at all costs' and constant chaotic urgency, it can create an environment in which burnout is the norm.

So, if you as a manager, human resource manager, CEO, team leader or just as an employee detect that your company’s culture is promoting the following feeling, pay attention because someone (or even an entire team or department) can be at risk of burnout!
(And please do not ignore the signs.) Individuals that:

  • Expect too much of themselves;
  • Never feel that the work they are doing is good enough;
  • Feel inadequate or incompetent;
  • Are making a contribution but do not feel their efforts are appreciated;
  • Have unreasonable demands placed upon them and role conflict;
  • Are in roles that are not a good job fit;
  • Feel that they are not making an adequate contribution to their organization;
  • Have lack of predictable and clear expectations;
  • Other signs may be absenteeism, withdrawal behaviors, strain, conflict, and turnover. Strain can then lead to greater issues such as fatigue, headaches, burnout, and anxiety.

Lack of attention on those signs can also result in loss of productivity, increased costs and greater risk of accidents, incidents, injuries and can lead to a “bunch” of many other bad things.

But why did we started to talk about trust at the beginning of this post? As we all delegate to the government our national security and public policy, as we delegate social causes and issues to NGOs, and as we delegate information and knowledge to the media, an employee delegates its “economic well-being” to the company for whom is working.
We only delegate those important aspects of our lives because we trust in them to act with integrity and with their best interest in their minds. “Trust, therefore, is at the heart of an individual’s relationship with an institution and, by association, its leadership.” As a consequence, if trust diminishes, we begin to fear that we are no longer safe. And this will lead to burnout in an individual, that can lead to the end of an entire team/department or project, that can lead to a restructuring plan to rescue the company and many companies in those scenarios can lead to a crisis in a country.

“For these reasons, trust is a valuable asset for all institutions, and ongoing trust-building activities should be one of the most important strategic priorities for every organization. (…) Trust is a predictor of whether stakeholders will find you credible in the future, will embrace new innovations you introduce and will enthusiastically support or defend you. (….) trust is a forward-looking metric.”

So, start today helping your company, team, your colleague (and yourself) to practice some changes that lead to a positive company culture (and avoid burnout):

  • Stop multi-tasking – focus on one thing at a time;
  • Work at a reasonable, steady pace;
  • Break down seemingly overwhelming tasks and projects into smaller achievable parts;
  • Recognize and celebrate your small steps along the way;
  • Tell your manager you want to be successful at your job and ask them how they would measure that;
  • Take regular assigned breaks or try Performetric to help you measure and detect the perfect time to do a more effective break;
  • Resist working overtime unnecessarily;
  • Even if you must provide contact information in case of emergency, try as much as possible to stay disconnected from work during vacation time;

The more positive the culture in the organization, the better it will perform, the more satisfied the individuals are, the higher the quality and the better the financial performance.
“A positive people culture is one where people experience positive emotions, optimism, cohesion, gratitude and humor, and where they have, as a consequence, a real sense of engagement.” – In order to feel those positive experiences and to amplify their benefits, they have to trust.