- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: Amacom; Special ed edition (18 January 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0814437664
- ISBN-13: 978-0814437667
- Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 2.2 x 23.5 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 476 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 50,899 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Trust Factor: The Science of Creating High-Performance Companies Hardcover – 20 Mar 2019
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"[Paul Zak's] book is fascinating and contributes to the body of work on trust and organizational culture." -Skip Prichard, Leadership Insights
"It's time to imagine a new path forward built on trust and experimentation, unveiling inherent courage in people and fostering innovation. Dr. Zak's will show you the way." -Linkedin Pulse
"Many books focusing on soft skills do not provide the evidence to support the findings. In this book, direct evidence is presented to support the value of the trust factor and its ability to change the culture in an organization." --PM World Journal
"[for] anyone interested in the powerful side of building trust and creating joyful, high-performance workplaces...The lessons are basic. They are the essence of being joyful and human." -Vancouver Business Journal
From the Inside Flap
Companies have tried everything from “golden handcuffs” to gourmet meals to gimmicks like “karaoke Fridays” to retain their best employees and keep them engaged, but the only thing that really works, according to a decade of research conducted by neuroscientist Paul Zak, is building a high-trust culture.
Employees in high-trust organizations are substantially more productive, have more energy at work, and stay with their employers longer. They collaborate more effectively with coworkers, suffer less chronic stress, and are happier than employees working at low-trust companies. And they earn higher salaries because they generate so much more profit than those at low-trust organizations.
In Trust Factor, Zak lays out the eight ways his research shows you can actively design and manage a high-trust culture:
Ovation: In a survey of 100,000 employees, 79 percent said “lack of appreciation” made them quit. Cultures that celebrate members motivate them too, provided the celebrations are handled correctly.
EXpectation: Annual reviews are ineffective and no one likes them anyway. Creating difficult, but achievable, goals engages the brain’s reward system and better engages employees.
Yield: When you let employees take control of their work, they accomplish more and find new ways to innovate.
Transfer: Nearly two-thirds of employees dream of autonomy. Let them decide what teams and tasks they want to contribute to, and you elevate their productivity.
Openness: Transparency creates high levels of trust by relieving the stress of not knowing and, thus, wondering and worrying. So, share more information.
Caring: Caring promotes empathy and social bonds, from which engagement springs. If you care about them, they’ll care about you.
Invest: Companies that invest in employees’ career and personal growth—“whole person development”—see much higher rates of retention.
Natural: Vulnerability is not weakness. Honesty is not embarrassing. Both are strengths that invite collaboration, which leads to greater performance.
The old adage “trust begets trust” is true, and neuroscience proves it. By using hard science to optimize soft skills, Trust Factor offers a fresh approach to understanding why we behave as we do and how to spur dramatic, positive changes in even the most entrenched workplace cultures.
Paul J. Zak, PhD, is the founding director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies and professor of economics, psychology, and management at Claremont Graduate University. He led the team of scientists that first made the connection between oxytocin and trust, and his TED talk on the topic has received over a million views. He has appeared on CNN, Fox Business, Dr. Phil, Good Morning America, ABC World News Tonight, and is the author of The Moral Molecule.
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That acronym may sound gimmicky, but Zak documents each factor with research from his and other labs. Each chapter includes relevant anecdotes and examples from real-world companies. These examples contribute not only to the credibility of the material but also to the readability of the book. Each chapter includes a few action items at its close to encourage readers to act on what they are reading.
The first factor, for example, is Ovation. Zak shows how recognition affects attitude and performance, and explains the right and wrong way to invoke this factor. (Hint: your "Employee of the Month" award may be doing more harm than good.)
One aspect I liked was Zak's emphasis on business experiments. Too many business books say, "Do this, it will work." Of course, no single approach or solution is right for every organization or problem. Zak encourages the reader to implement ideas as experiments with a defined checkpoint where the results are evaluated. Not only does this facilitate acceptance of changes, it also helps convince executives who might otherwise reject new ideas.
I found the recommendations in Trust Factor to be clear and actionable. There's plenty of data to back them up, too, which will be needed when convincing others that change is a good idea. It's almost certain that in a climate that has been distrustful for years there will be pushback from some team members. Change isn't easy, but Zak provides the tools to persuade.
Of necessity, I read dozens of business books each year. (Preparing for a weekly podcast alone accounts for 50+.) It's very early to make this call, but I'm confident Trust Factor will be one of my top ten book recommendations for the year.
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