Niels Stenfeldt discusses fostering trust in the workplace, executive accountability, and how the business climate affects transparency. Listen to the podcast for more.
Connected Enterprise podcast host Carl Lewis seized an opportunity to reconnect with an old friend when he read Niels Stenfeldt’s LinkedIn post about trust and tolerance in the workplace.
Carl and Niels met in 2007 when Niels was the Global VP and Head of SAP Business One Sales and Strategy. Niels is now chairman of Boyum IT Solutions and CEO of Lanell. At Lanell, Niels helps companies transform ideas into commercially viable business propositions with value creation playbooks.
During the podcast, Niels elaborated on the LinkedIn post that caught Carl’s eye. He discussed fostering trust in the workplace, executive accountability, what to tolerate and what not to tolerate, and how the business climate affects trust and transparency.
Trust vs. Tolerance
According to Niels, business leaders must foster trust in their organizations. Tolerance is also vital because we want to be inclusive and celebrate each other’s differences. But there’s a thin line between the two.
Poor performance or behavior shouldn’t be tolerated, although some leaders keep toxic team members because they think that person will change or their position will be difficult to fill.
However, when you tolerate bad performance or behavior for too long, the negativity seeps into the entire organization and affects the employees with positive attitudes and good performance.
Then, your value as a leader diminishes because you can’t make the uncomfortable but necessary decisions that keep one bad apple from spoiling the bunch. No one wants to work for someone like that.
How to Create an Environment of Trust
Establishing trust is more about ‘who’ and ‘where’ than ‘how.’ The ‘who’ is everyone in the organization, and the ‘where’ is at the top with the board of directors, chairman, or CEO.
Leaders must first identify low-trust indicators such as high employee turnover, difficulty recruiting, low energy, poor productivity, and people reluctant to collaborate. These lead to passive-aggressive behavior, people jumping ship, and your organization developing a reputation of not being a fun place to work.
Once leaders have identified the low-trust indicators, they need a plan to overcome them and become an organization that encourages fun and laughter. Management can initiate team building to practice gratitude, empathy, speaking freely, sharing ideas, and listening.
It’s important to note that while trust must start at the top, every employee must buy into it and make it a collective mindset.
Listen to the Podcast
For more insights from Niels Stenfeldt, including how virtual workplaces affect trust and accountability, listen to Vision33’s Connected Enterprise podcast. In each episode, host Carl Lewis interviews bright minds and industry thought leaders about enterprise technology and what’s coming next.