Trust Factor

Trust Factor : The Science of Creating High-Performance Companies

4.02 (137 ratings by Goodreads)
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Why is the culture of a stagnant workplace so difficult to improve? For decades, business leaders have been equipping themselves with every book, philosophy, reward, and program the so-called experts have convinced them to buy into, yet companies everywhere continue to struggle with toxic cultures, and the unhappiness and low productivity that go with them.In Trust Factor, neuroscientist Paul Zak shows that innate brain functions hold the answers we've been looking for. Put simply, the key to providing an engaging, encouraging, positive culture that keeps your employees energized is trust. When someone shows you trust, a feel-good jolt of oxytocin surges through your brain and triggers you to reciprocate. This simple mechanism creates a perpetual trust-building cycle between management and staff, and--voila!--the end of stubborn workplace patterns.Incorporating science-backed insights for building high-trust organizations with successful examples from The Container Store, Zappos, and Herman Miller, Trust Factor explains:* How brain chemicals affect behavior* Why trust gets squashed* How to stimulate trust within your employees* And moreStop recycling the same ineffective strategies and programs for improving culture. Learn to cultivate a workplace where trust, joy, and commitment compounds naturally by harnessing the power of neurochemistry!
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Product details

  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 159 x 235 x 22mm | 484g
  • Amacom
  • Nashville, United States
  • English
  • Special ed
  • Illustrations, unspecified
  • 0814437664
  • 9780814437667
  • 28,119

Flap copy

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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Back cover copy

Why is "culture" so difficult to improve? What makes so many good employees check out? Neuroscientist Paul Zak shows that innate brain functions hold the answers. When you show that you trust a person, oxytocin surges through their brain and triggers a reciprocal act. This simple mechanism creates a perpetual trust-building cycle, and works to change stubborn workplace patterns.

Drawing on his original research, Zak teases out science-backed insights for building high-trust organizations. Trust Factor opens a window on how brain chemicals affect behavior, why trust gets squashed, and ways to consciously stimulate it by celebrating effort, sharing information, promoting ownership, investing in employee growth, and more proven strategies.

Packed with examples from The Container Store, Zappos, Herman Miller, Google, and dozens more, Trust Factor harnesses our neurochemistry to cultivate workplaces where trust, joy, and commitment compound naturally.

"If you're intentional about building great culture, Trust Factor can help you get there. In his latest work, Zak offers compelling research, thought-provoking stories and actionable steps that can help close the gap present in most organizations. A great resource for anyone wanting to create a high performance people-centric organization where everyone thrives!" -- Bob Chapman, author, Everybody Matters and CEO, Barry-Wehmiller Companies

"In this exciting new book, Paul Zak considers 'all employees as [ultimately] volunteers'; and 'trust' as the critical ingredient in getting those 'volunteers' to work together. Uniting economics with neuroscience, Zak gives fascinating down-to-earth examples of how to practically apply these insights." -- George Akerlof, 2001 Nobel Laureate in Economics

"Trust Factor is essential reading for every business leader and a must-read for anyone interested in the true secret of every successful business: a robust, healthy culture. Paul not only shows us why cultures of trust are critical, but more importantly, he provides a wealth of data and practical guidelines for how to build a thriving organization." -- Doug Rauch, former CEO of Trader Joe's

"Combining his interest in human socialization with his biomedical research, Dr. Paul Zak and his team have examined a connection between how we're rewarded with positive feelings and emotions when we do things with people we trust. Lacing this together with Peter Drucker's timeless leadership wisdom presents an interesting opportunity for all of us to become better people, better partners, better leaders, and more effective contributors to society."--Curt Pullen, Chairman of the Advisory Board, The Drucker Institute, and former Executive Vice President and President of North America, Herman Miller

"Trust is at the core of loyalty, advocacy and satisfaction--with employees, customers and other stakeholder groups. Understanding the principles Paul reveals and how to operationalize them will change the way we think about how we create, motivate and sustain high-performance organizations that deliver business results."-- Donna Peebles, former SVP, AIG

"With his scientific understanding of oxytocin, Zak provides a set of glasses for looking at how trust motivates people at work, even as he romps through inspiring stories from the cultures of successful organizations." --David Nott, President, Reason Foundation

"Although trust is certainly a worthy aspiration, what if it could be more? What if your organization could better understand it, link it to engagement and performance, and build a culture that fostered it? What if your organization could use trust as competitive advantage? Trust Factor provides actionable advice--grounded in neuroscience--on how your organization can use trust to fuel higher levels of engagement and performance."--Walter McFarland, coauthor of Choosing Change and Board Chair Emeritus of the Association for Talent Development
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Review quote

"[Paul Zak's] book is fascinating and contributes to the body of work on trust and organizational culture." -Skip Prichard, Leadership Insights
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About Paul Zak

PAUL J. ZAK, PH.D. is the founding Director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies and Professor of Economics, Psychology, and Management at Claremont Graduate University. He was part of 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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Rating details

137 ratings
4.02 out of 5 stars
5 35% (48)
4 38% (52)
3 23% (31)
2 3% (4)
1 1% (2)
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