In our research into how exemplary leaders create meaning, we discovered that followers want a leader who can build an atmosphere where trusting relationships flourish. So it came as no surprise when a recent global study conducted by ADP research found that the single most powerful driver of resilience and engagement is trust. When trust is present, people are able to optimize their performance. 

Sadly, according to this report, only 7% of people feel this level of trust in their lives. That score is even lower than the abysmal engagement scores that are reported in research. The connection between trust and engagement is crystal clear. If you want to build engagement you must begin with trust. 

In chapter four of our book we review extensive literature and research on the topic of trust building. More importantly, we offer several strategies for trust building throughout your organization. If a leader hopes to build trust, they must first give people the opportunity to build trusting relationships. 

Trust building activities take time and can lead to uncertain interactions. However, if you want to tap into the optimal performance of your teams, you must take this uncertain step in the direction of trust building. 

The relationships built at work will not only enhance your team’s performance, it will also allow them to extract important markers of meaning. Meaning will serve to increase engagement which will further support performance and optimize well-being. For more on this important topic, check out Meaning-Centered Leadership: Skills and Strategies for Increased Employee Well-Being and Organizational Success.