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Environment of trust is key to development programs delivering better performance outcomes

By PBC Hogan | |5 minute read

Trust is a key pillar to the way our societies perform. This goes for organisations too, as effective employers can leverage trust to drive better business outcomes.

When it comes to change initiatives and the performance of groups of people, trust is critical. We need that sense of trust in our environment and colleagues to support us in doing things differently and taking risks, to evolve our businesses and outpoint the competition. Lencioni had Trust as the foundation stone of his work in relation to high performing teams as we do in our High Performing Team Assessment. Now more than ever, as we move through the Digital Industrial Revolution, trust will be key with large numbers of organisations, functions and teams experiencing disruption.

At PBC Hogan, the work that we do is at the forefront of change initiatives. Supporting leaders to develop their skills and capabilities to lead people and teams through times of change. Effective leadership as a multiplier of business impact is critical in leading and communicating change to secure supporting staff trust and engagement. When it comes to undertaking leadership development work, Trust is critical in securing a leader’s conscious effort to develop their leadership capability to be able to lead the organisation effectively, unlocking performance.

By taking a structured approach our work with clients, we are able to deliver an environment of trust on two key levels so organisations can work with their leaders with increased engagement and raising the likelihood of meaningful behaviour change and capability development:

Personal Trust

People are at the core of all of our businesses and so ensuring individual candidate confidence in the environment and the development work they are undertaking is critical to support their ability to change. Key drivers in this context are:

  • Development is personal, each individual is to be supported with the insights and development plans and pathways unique to their needs
  • Candidates have a sense of being treated with respect and dignity through the development process
  • They are able to trust the insights and guidance they are given regarding development areas and actions
  • Personal data is secure and well managed

Similarly, organisations have a fiduciary duty to their employees as well as an interest in creating an environment of trust that can support meaningful change to drive the strategic and change outcomes the organisation is seeking. Accordingly, we ensure organisations can be confident that:

  • They are being respectful of their employees’ psychological safety during the development process
  • Risks are being well managed, for example data security and privacy
  • the development activity is aligned with best practice and the organisations strategy so leaders can be confident that the changes they are making are impactful and meaningful to performance

We build this environment by way of:

  • Considered program design that supports the alignment of individual candidates’ development needs with organisational strategy and objectives
  • A consulting team of organisational psychologists, trained in mental health first aid undertaking candidate debriefs in a private 1:1 setting to support their engagement, understanding and internalisation of their development needs
  • Development program communication strategies that build candidate confidence in the approach and methodology as adding to their careers and capability
  • Demonstrable evidence of the highest privacy and data security standards

Structural Trust

Underpinning the ability to build personal trust, there are a number of structural elements to developing a transparent, consistent and trusted development program including:

  • Clear and evidence-based selection of behaviours that are aligned and correlated to achieving the strategic outcomes and the objectives of the organisation. These are not generic capability frameworks, or qualitatively developed idealised behaviours. They are either custom selected behaviours based on the organisation’s unique strategy, or there are a researched and validated model that targets core capability uplift
  • Using these behaviours as the baseline against which we are objectively measuring individual and aggregated organisational capability to understand areas for development and strengths with direct impact on strategic outcomes
  • Leveraging a research backed and profession reviewed suite of valid and reliable tools, like the Hogan suite of assessments, to provide that objective measurement of a candidate’s current capabilities and a consistent common data taxonomy that allows assessment results across the organisation to be pooled and aggregated for analysis and insight to support organisational decision making
  • The ability to repeat measures across time supporting considered evaluation of return on investment of development interventions, demonstrate capability change over time at the individual and organisational level and to provide forward development horizons for candidates to encourage conscious engagement with the development program as an intentional capability build with expectations regarding the development of a candidate’s capabilities

With a foundation in place of strategy aligned to key behaviours, objective measurement, specific interventions and commitment to intentional capability build over time, leaders are enabled to trust in what they are being asked to do when considering leveraging their strengths and working on their development areas. Organisations can trust that their spend and development activities will deliver the business performance they are seeking, support decisions regarding further investment, talent identification and succession choices.

Taking these key considerations into account to develop an environment of trust for your development projects, programmes and strategy across the organisation will drive the quality of the candidate engagement, impact on the organisation and the quality of data to inform your leadership decision making. Trust is a key feature of the way that we work with clients connecting our depth of business and strategy consulting, the professional expertise of our Assessment Research Team, valid and reliable Hogan assessments and our team of organisational psychologists to engage with your people 1:1.

This article is authored by Alex Bond, Director at PBC.

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