[Blog 22] The Six Pillars of Trust – H.R. G.U.R.U

Trust is perhaps the most preeminent factor in a workplace. Although it might be a challenging attribute to quantify, trust lends to a harmonious and synergetic work environment, without which a business would not be able to flourish. A lack of trust may also cause team spirit and productivity to suffer inevitably. However, building trust in all aspects of the organisation is not possible without first preserving H.R. G.U.R.UHonesty, Respect, Groundedness, Understanding, Responsibility and Unity. These six pillars, though not quick fixes, form the framework for building trust over time:


The first step towards building a foundation of trust is to foster an environment that cultivates honesty and open communication. Even when the going gets tough in the workplace, speak only the truth and not just what people want to hear, because open communication requires an objective point of view that is free of any sort of emotional manipulation. Concurrently, there must also be the willingness to listen and receive these observations with an open mind, no matter how unfavourable they may be.


A way for managers to show respect for their employees is by allowing them to contribute in the process of making business decisions for the company. Set up a conversational dialogue where employees are allowed to share their thoughts comfortably and give constructive feedback. Trust is built on mutual respect—when your employees feel that they their opinions are acknowledged and well-appreciated, only then can trust be formed and sustained between both parties.


Leaders who are backed with skills and expertise in the industry have the obligation to share their knowledge with employees. An unrestricted flow of knowledge leverages trust among one another and will keep everyone in the company grounded by creating awareness and increasing work coordination.


While it is important to present your receiver with facts, make sure you do so by being considerate sensitive to their feelings. In the event that mistakes have been made by your employees, do not use it as an opportunity for blame and punishment. It will go a long way to treat it as a learning experience and express your support for them instead, to show that they are still trusted and valued by the company. After all, a leader’s role is to provide guidance and steer the organisation in the right direction towards more impactful results in the long run.


Managers cannot achieve a workplace based on trust if they do not hand over some control. In order to experience high levels of engagement and productivity, managers need to entrust employees to do the right thing by the company. Do not be afraid to believe in your employees—let them have more say to take full ownership of their own job and accept accountability for their own performance and success.


Unity is an attribute of highly effective teams where morale runs high and members are supportive of one another. Working in a collaborative environment with a cohesive team helps to foster trust and a sense of belonging to the company, motivating everyone to work harder towards achieving the company’s goals and objectives. A leader should never focus too much on the importance of individual performance as it can be detrimental to employee satisfaction and retention.

A manager and an employee may not necessarily see eye to eye in all things, but that should never stop him from facilitating a workplace where the common language of trust is able to thrive beyond the chain of command. An organisation that is able to forge and maintain the delicate dynamic of trust will be more prepared to weather storms in the face of strong competition and future challenges. Just as a table can’t stand on one leg, trust is not build on just one attribute alone. Trust takes a long time to build, yet all it takes is just one poor decision for things to fall apart. At HR Guru, we believe that the principle of trust will prosper when employees demonstrate a combination of these six core values—Honesty, Respect, Groundedness, Understanding, Responsibility and Unity—and only when you establish these competencies to your maximum capacity will you truly reap the rewards of the bonds of trust.