When people are asked what they value in an employer, increasingly they prioritize a positive working culture. Of course, not all cultures are alike, and every business will have its nuances. But essentially, culture is a code of conduct and ethics that defines the way things are done, the way you communicate, and the things that really matter. And for a culture to thrive, trust between colleagues is essential.
How does trust lay the foundation for culture? Let’s stop to consider the important behaviors that are facilitated through trusting relationships between colleagues.
Trust champions innovation
Imagine that you have an idea to share. How do you feel about sharing it with your manager? What about with your team? Or how about the whole business? Sharing our thinking, perspectives and ideas makes us vulnerable. You may fear appearing foolish or silly, or having your idea shot down. But in fact it could be applauded, considered worthy of further work and investment. Or, perhaps you fear losing control of the situation or not getting the recognition you deserve. In reality, you may find sharing your idea encourages colleagues to come together, collaborate, and help develop your idea to its full potential. In both of these very different instances, it’s clear how mutual trust can help to create an environment that is ripe for thought sharing, and consequently for innovation.
Trust brings us together
At Pfizer, the work that we do brings us together across geographies, teams and skillsets. Whether your employer is similarly large and diverse in scale, or whether you work for a small business with a close-knit team in one location, work relationships can make us more productive and efficient, as well as making people happier at work. Working together is most effective with high levels of trust between people and teams. At the moment, with most of our workforce working remotely due to COVID-19, trust takes on an even higher level of importance as we work to maintain relationships, and manage workloads and projects during a time of unprecedented disruption. And while everyone’s experience will be different, our understanding of others’ unique situations develops empathy and helps to build trust in all of us.
Trust stretches you
When we trust those we work with, we are more open to sharing our thinking, which presents a learning opportunity for everyone. You seek input and can build on your own ideas, while others benefit from your insights. Taking that premise even further, with high levels of trust you feel more comfortable challenging the thinking of others, which pushes us all to pursue excellence and never settle for “good enough.” That doesn’t mean criticizing others. On the contrary, it’s an indication of a healthy network of support.
At Pfizer, our purpose of making breakthroughs that change patients’ lives is a commitment rooted in trust. We never lose sight of the confidence placed in us by communities and people around the world. As we work to try and develop a vaccine for COVID-19, it feels particularly pertinent.
Our culture remains our driving force, and we are proud of the respectful, trusting working relationships between our people during this uncertain time.