The 12 Areas of Organizational Culture: Strong Trust Relationships

An organization’s effectiveness is a reflection of it’s culture. This blog series will explore the 12 areas of cultural assessment that Goodnight Consulting has developed to evaluate an organization’s culture. To watch the overview video, go here.

“He who does not trust enough will not be trusted.” -Lao Tzu

Strong Trust Relationships | Goodnight Consulting

Defining Questions

Do employees trust their leadership?

Do employees trust each other?

Do employees trust the organization’s stakeholders?

“We have a problem.”

Jill has been serving as Maintenance Manager for nearly three years. In all that time, she has never seen Harold, one of her poorest-performing electricians, ever look so concerned. “We have a safety issue on the turbine deck!” he tells her. After a recent — and very-heated — negotiation between the electrical workers bargaining unit and management, Jill is suspicious of Harold’s motives. Is Harold just trying to protect the interests of his union, or are his concern genuine? Jill’s hesitation suggests there are cultural problems within her organization.

When employees provide feedback to leaders in a healthy, high-performing organization, leaders trust that feedback and have no reason to suspect ulterior motives. Similarly, in those high-performing organizations, employees believe that their leaders are acting in their best interest, and in the best interest of the organization. This does not mean that there will not be conflict, or that everyone will get along with each other all the time. It just means that, ultimately, everyone in the organization trusts each other to act in their collective best interest. An organization with a significant lack of trust is doomed to failure without a significant course correction.

Ways to Improve Trust

Communicate clearly and often.

Act with integrity.

Emphasize collaboration across groups and departments to break down silos.

Underscore the importance of the vision and mission of the company to all employees.

Goodnight Consulting maintains a confidential, proprietary database of cultural assessments, which we use to develop benchmarks for our clients. Our evaluations are based on decades of experience in the utility industry. If you find that your organization is weak in one of our 12 areas, please contact us to learn how we can help you improve.

12 Areas of Culture

Goodnight Consulting has identified 12 areas of culture that help define a successful organization. You can read about the other areas of culture here.


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