Trust In The Office


The trust of customers isn’t the only thing businesses need to worry about. To avoid costly employee turnover, it is important to instill a culture of trust in your office. If your team doesn’t trust you, they will be working for political gain and looking for better jobs as soon as it makes sense for them logistically. The rehiring process can cost you a great deal, which is why you should work to retain employees as much as possible.


This excerpt is extracted from the sixth chapter of The RiVal, titled Corporate Culture: On Trust, Team Building and Integrity.

I’ve found that training is a great way to instill a positive group dynamic, one where people feel confident in their strengths and are willing to ask for help when they need it. Training and development are crucial investments for ongoing success. Lack of these important initiatives results in a stagnant organization with virtually no drive or motivation. These short- and long-term investments need to be preserved and maintained in order for companies to retain their best talent. Turnover introduces failure to this type of investment.

I’m saddened when I approach the corporate world. I sometimes have to shake my head in disbelief. This is part of the reason why I left it behind to start my own global consulting firm. When living the corporate life at the CEO and executive-team levels, it is easy to get caught up in the extravagance of what you’re doing. In that zero- gravity environment, you start to believe that you have superhuman powers, that you are untouchable. This is only true if you are neglecting the system of checks and balances put into place to regulate decisions made at that highest level in order to align business objectives and your market demands.

The behavior of corporate leadership at companies like Enron is both disgusting and somewhat sociopathic. It’s not healthy for an individual to think and live like that—similarly to how it isn’t right for a company to skate by on padded financial reports designed to cheat stakeholders and customers. Many of the individuals who led those ventures have died of heart attacks, while others suffer the arguably worse fate of living a large portion of their lives in jail—perhaps with no remorse at all. However, the real casualties in cases like Enron are the employees who lost their jobs and retirement in addition to having the permanent stain of those corporations on their résumés.

It all comes down to ethics. You need people with strong ethics on your team. As a personal message to those who are coming into the corporate world hoping to catch a glimpse of trouble around the curve before it actually reaches your doorstep, I leave you with this: don’t feel overburdened by what I’m saying. Yes, there is a spirit of mistrust in the marketplace—I needed to drive that nail home—but the market is a big place. There is still room and time to build a successful company.


Benjamin Von Seeger is an entrepreneur, frequent C-suite member and telecommunications veteran with twenty years of global business experience. His book The RiVal: Play the Game, Own the Hustle, Power in Competition, Longevity in Collaboration (out now) draws on vast personal experience and proven philosophy to inspire a new generation of businesspeople and students. Visit his website and follow Ben on Twitter @benvonseeger.
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