Building trust within teams can take years, explains Semco Founder, Ricardo Semler. However, there are a few simple things you can do, as a leader, to build trust very quickly. These are just a few practices in place at the marvellous Semco.
Semco, in case you haven’t heard of it, is a unique Brazilian company. Unique because it is a successful democratic organisation, where employees are empowered to make their own decisions. Very few decisions are made by senior managers. Instead those decisions are made by employees, who are organised into small, self managing work teams.
Semco practices participative management and building trust appears to be part of the reason for their resounding success.
Ricardo took the reigns of his father’s private company in when he was just 21 years of age. Semco has grown from 90 to 3,000 employees. Turnover also grew from $4 million to $160 million per year . These figures are just to give you an overview but if you really want to hear Ricardo’s story, pick up a copy of his book, Maverick.
Ricardo suggests that building trust starts with small steps to acknowledge an employee or colleague’s trustworthiness. He says leaders should talk with their team members about what needs to be done but not how to do it. Employees should be empowered to make their own decisions about how they are going to work.
Watch Ricardo talk about old boarding school rules, which can damage trust in an organisation. Building trust takes time, however, Ricardo understands just how precious time is. Make some changes in your organisation to start building trust today.