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How Trust Trickles Down the Corporate Ladder

Trust is a must in the workplace. Where does it begin? You might be surprised.

By Ashley Keating

Employees have to trust their managers, and vice versa. A good relationship between both parties boosts organizational commitment, performance, and cooperative behaviors.

But building that bond doesn’t begin with the boss—it starts with their boss, finds a study in the Journal of Applied Psychology.

The researchers found that perceived trustworthiness trickled down from higher-level positions, and this effect was heightened even further when second-level managers invited their reports to participate in managerial decision-making. 

So it’s a domino effect: If you’re an HR pro, host trust development and training programs for higher-level supervisors. Those bosses will pass on their knowledge to their reports, who will keep the good vibes going down the line. If you want a well-oiled workplace, that trust is a must.

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