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by Jay Donohue, CAE, KCSAE Director

Next month’s KCSAE Educational Program focuses on how one can be a participant in creating a work culture of trust. For me, it has always been a fundamental responsibility in my role as an association executive to not only create, but to also maintain and commit to a High Trust culture every single work day.

Last January I read a blog from the Huffington Post. In the blog they shared the recommendations from Paul Zak, a professor at Claremont Graduate University, who has studied the connection between trust and performance in business organizations all over the world.

Paul says that trust is the key to a good culture. He cites eight leadership actions to build the great cultures we need today – especially with the rapid infusion of the millennial generation of workers.

  1. Show appreciation for individual contributions. ...
  2. Make sure everyone knows what you expect. ...
  3. Let team members take control of their work. ...
  4. Flatten management levels. ...
  5. Share more information about the business.
  6. Practice employee caring and empathy
  7. Invest in employee’s careers and personal growth
  8. Demonstrate honesty and vulnerability

And I would personally add: Be a model of integrity, morality, and the highest of ethics.

I have spent many years working in various organizations and each with its own unique culture. Modifying a culture is equally as challenging as change is. Both are equally difficult. And if you do make efforts to improve a negative culture – you need to get commitments from top to bottom – leaders, members & staff. It is time consuming and potentially hurtful.

Come to next month’s meeting to see what else you could learn and take back to your association to help participate in fostering that High-Trust culture.


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