A short study is a summary of an interesting academic work.
Professionals are more likely to value their own work and feel that it contributes to the success of their team when their managers demonstrate that they trust them, according to a study I recently completed as part of my unpublished doctoral dissertation. thesis.
I wanted to understand how different types of social capital, such as building trust and creating shared value, affect employee performance and attitudes towards their work. So I surveyed 457 people I hired through Amazon Mechanical Turk who have done at least one project for their employer. I then asked them a series of questions about the experience and their views on how it went. The survey attempted to measure the perceived level of engagement of participants when their leader used social capital.
About 74% of respondents said having a manager who builds trust, such as asking for opinions during meetings and encouraging them to share their knowledge with the team, makes them feel positive about their work. This was often more important than completing their work on time, on budget, and satisfactorily.
Why is it important
Companies usually fail to complete projects successfully. By that, I don’t mean that they don’t complete them, but they cannot complete the project on time, on budget, or by any other criteria of success.
In fact, it is estimated that more than half of projects – be it a merger, a public works project like a bridge, or a sporting event like the Olympics – fail for one reason or another.
This is why it is so important to find out what contributes to their success.
My research shows that the perceived lack of success of a project is partly due to the fact that the main criteria that businesses use about it – time, cost, and quality – may not be as important as building trust among employees, which is an integral part of its work. This is not to say that other measures are not important, but my work suggests using social capital in a way that employees feel appreciated, which might be a missing piece.
What is not yet known
My research has focused on employee perceptions, which I believe are valid and useful measures of project success. However, further research will be required to confirm my findings and show that they correlate with actual results.
I look forward to exploring new training methods that can help companies build and maintain trust in the workplace. My goal is to find strategies that companies can use to build trust and therefore increase productivity.
[Get the best of The Conversation, every weekend. Sign up for our weekly newsletter.]