In their 18th Annual Reputation Quotient Summary Report, the Harris Poll found that the biggest damage done to corporate reputation is a result of “intentional wrongdoing or illegal actions by corporate leaders, or lying or misrepresenting facts about a product or service.” This according to 85 percent and 83 percent of the 23,633 survey respondents, respectively. Summed up, if your company and its leaders can’t be trusted to keep their word, your reputation will plummet.
In their recently concluded Project Aristotle, Google researched what makes teams successful. After interviewing hundreds of team members, along with team leads and executives, they concluded that, even more important than which individuals were on each team, was the concept of psychological safety. Team members trusted one another.
Google stated that “In a team with high psychological safety, teammates feel safe to take risks around their team members. They feel confident that no one on the team will embarrass or punish anyone else for admitting a mistake, asking a question, or offering a new idea.”
If you want to inspire risk-taking and creative thinking among your team members, make sure that they feel safe and can confidently expect that they will not suffer any ill consequences for daring to share their expanded vision of the future. Team leads and other managers will need to appropriately model how to facilitate conversations so that people feel heard and valued, building all-important trust in the process.
As important is the realization that when you say something about your product or service, you are making a promise. By the way, it doesn’t matter if you actually said, “I promise.” That’s a game that six-year olds play. It’s your word, and your brand’s reputation depends on you relentlessly keeping your word. None of this is complicated. But it does require daily attention.