Time of No Trust

Is it possible to build a trust based partnership between JV partners, between customers and suppliers, between an owner and employee?

In this materialistic world where people are more concerned about themselves, their profits and losses, success and complacency, happiness and contentment and amassing wealth and worldly pleasures by all means - it is a paradox to discuss trust or trusting someone on an individual level. The word ‘trust’ creates a bond and plants a firm belief in the reliability of an individual to have the ability or strength to execute or perform a task with righteousness. If a person trusts someone then he or she surrenders the ability of finding faults, otherwise it will not be possible to trust at all. Therefore, trust or trusting is a process of benevolence where a trustier reposes firm faith and confidence in a trustee.

However, trust is also the main element in the functioning of the modern world. Without trusting people or the system, life will become miserable. For example, we elect public representatives with trust in them to govern ourselves. We deposit our life’s savings in a bank with the trust that we will get it back in times of need. The multibillion dollar insurance industry functions on the principles of trust, where we pay monthly premiums to get financial support for ourselves or our family in case of emergencies. We go to doctors in case of sickness with the feeling of trust in their abilities to treat or cure us. We hire lawyers with trust and confidence in them for the redressing of our grievances. Likewise, we travel by airplane with trust in the airlines industry to fly us safely to our destination or we go to restaurants with trust to get a wholesome and safe meal and. Therefore, trust is the shaft of a wheel on which our belief system revolves.

In order to become successful in business, it is important to be fair and honest for building trust and confidence in our clients, partners, customers or suppliers. Large chains of food stores like McDonalds, Burger King, Tim Hortons, Starbucks, Pizza Hut etc have been successful in building multibillion dollars business by way of creating trust and confidence in their JV partners and franchisee, suppliers and retail clients in terms of quality, service and commitments. Walmart and Amazon have become the largest chain of superstores and online sellers in the world, because of the trust of their clients in their products and services. Likewise, examples of success stories are a-plenty where a business organization has been able to generate trust in people’s minds with their positive attitude and conviction.

This trust can be built by any small or medium sized business by laying down the rules of fair play. In the case of JV partners, this confidence can be put together by sticking to commitments with their suppliers and providing exceptional customer service to their buyers. The magic of trust is so powerful that if a sick or loss making business is able to generate trust in their creditors and stakeholders about their resolve to become profitable, then they will not only survive but they can also create a solid foundation for growth of their business. General Motors, Chrysler and other car manufacturing companies are the best example of re-building trust and confidence in their stakeholders mind. They not only survived the worst recession of 2008 but they also bounced right back.

The success of a business also depends upon trusting the ability of a business owner to take care of their employees. It also depends upon how an employee trusts his employer in being paid by them according to their knowledge and capacity. The situation of mistrust can be overcome only by way of sharing and caring and building bonds between them. No business owners will ever be able to manage their business with peace of mind, generate profit or grow their business if their employees are not happy or do not trust their owners in making commitments. Non-trusting environment degenerates the morale of employees and reduces the overall output of the business. It is a corrosive factor which ultimately annihilates the business or its profitability.

Therefore, trust is the foundation stone of building relationships, growth and profitability in every aspect of our lives including business.

Suman Saran Sinha, CMC