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How I truly measure TRUST at MLT

This is part 2 of MLT's Core values. When it comes to company values, many will start by identifying "words" slapping them on a wall, and think it's going to magically change the culture to achieve their specific goal. Here's MLT’s timeline from the start:

  • I kicked off the culture deck in December 2016 by engaging the entire company. The feedback I received was invaluable.

  • I knew some of my people were doubting if I would be able to see it through. In fact, it was not unusual for me to start an initiative only to get lost in the day to day business activities.

  • In early 2017, we started a weekly company-wide 15 minutes stand-up meeting. The purpose of these meetings were to keep everyone informed and give everyone a chance to speak. This is still going on strong after 2+ years.

But then I wanted to bring the execution of transforming our culture to another level by measuring Trust within MLT's team. As Patrick Lencioni mentioned it in his book (The Five Dysfunctions of a Team), "Absence of TRUST" is the foundational block to get to delivering true results.

Trust is the most-critical element of a healthy and high-performing environment. Actually, the "Trust" word was embedded on every page of the 33-page culture deck. Through many validation from employees, I knew my co-workers were trusting me, but I had to make sure that people were fully trusting each other. At the end of the day, we are ONE team!

So I asked myself, how can one measure trust? I Googled it and came up empty. There were only mentions of team building activities which we done in the past, but once it's done, the initiative simply dies. I wanted it to be tangible, quantifiable and just simply part of our culture. By connecting hard data, elements becomes facts and not just opinions.

Here's how I made it possible:

I kicked off a "light" mindfulness initiative with the team late 2018. The initiative consists of performing a 30 seconds deep breathing exercise before kicking off your workday to acknowledge what you have to do and why. Subsequently performing the same exercise at the end of your workday to reflect and close the loop. Easy enough, right? I upped the ante early 2019 to perform the very same 30 seconds deep breathing before internal meetings and most importantly in front of co-workers. This seems very awkward you might say... Yup it is and that was the main purpose. I said to myself:

  • If the chair of the meeting is strong enough to get the stakeholders to perform this exercise, it shows trust in the plan and their leadership skills are being developed.

  • If people are performing this 30 seconds deep breathing exercise in front of their peers, it shows another level of trust and it sets the tone for a good quality meeting

Well, I participated, I’ve seen it happened without me and I heard it happened through a few aftermath of chuckles...

Here are factual results from our 5 questions pre & post mindfulness survey (codename: Measuring_Trust)

  1. Increased personal productivity by 28.8 minutes more per 8 hours workday. For MLT, this equates to 2+ Full Time Employees over a span of a year.

  2. Increase our ability to better manage our respective time by 7%, so overall stress should be reduced.

  3. 80% reported that they had become better listeners, so this translates to direct improvement on client experience.

  4. 77% reported a positive change in their ability to make better and clearer decisions.

  5. Gain 6% on our ability of "Letting Go". We are less consumed on the small things which makes us more disciplined to focus on the BIG picture.

All of this to say that I was successfully able to measure trust at a certain level. Although it's a never ending journey, I feel like we are continuously improving as a high-performing leadership team.

Charles Gervais, President Missing Link Technologies Ltd

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