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Insights by Agilicist

Want Productivity? Build a Culture of Trust

FACT: Higher Trust = Higher Productivity and more engagement.


But how do you create a culture of trust in your organisation?


.....


I was reading some research the other day that people at high-trust companies report 50% higher productivity and 76% more engagement than those at low-trust companies.


According to Harvard researcher Paul J. Zak, there are 8 strategies to drive that trust culture but I wanted to talk about one in particular.


I remember a number of years ago Agilicist were leading an agile transformation for a large gaming company.


We were in the midst of a collaborative planning event and the organisation was historically very focused on outputs.


They had a prioritised backlog of Features and teams would pull from the top of the list, write stories and plan their work.


This company had a very driven, hands-on COO who had a particular Feature he was keen to see picked up. This particular Feature was high on the list of priorities, and it soon became clear that the team didn’t have capacity to fit it into their plan.


Obviously upset, he asked me to “get them to fit it in”.


I suggested he talk directly with them to understand the issue.


And so he did.


And for the next 30 minutes they sat together discussing the work.


And they explained that it was highly technical, involved a great deal of database work and didn’t match fully their skillset.


It was going to take a long time.


They also said they were happy to accommodate the request but it would mean they wouldn’t be able to complete both of the two highest priority Features.


That single conversation was a lightbulb moment for the COO.


Whereas previously, that Feature would have been forced into the team, he now accepted that the work the team were doing was highly complex and that he needed to trust in their expertise when it came to decision making around that work.


He’d given his employees a voice.


He'd built trust, which led to increased engagement and increased productivity.


Agilicist bring those learnings to help our clients build environments which support an organisational culture that people want to be a part of.

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