The 2019 Wild New World Report shares that trust in CEOs has reached an all-time low. Of course, this decline in confidence in CEOs is not attributed to one simple change, but rather, a more significant symptom of an unstable political climate and perceived reluctance of governments to properly regulate businesses.

It’s a challenging time to be a CEO looking to gain trust with teams, and in turn, all professionals in your organization. With Bersin reporting that only 37% of people trust CEOs, as found in the Edelman Trust Barometer, it’s time that best-in-class leaders consider what they can do to increase trust and cultivate a healthier workplace culture that all employees can thrive in.

CEOs can develop a sense of trust among teams while implementing forward-thinking strategies and protecting and growing trust that encompasses what you do each day. Here are the three areas East Tenth Group recommends and works on with CEOs to establish trust and optimise team success:


1. Cultivating Genuine Leadership

Genuine or authentic leadership may sound like a modern business buzz term, but in reality, it’s a trait that successful and trusted leaders carry. According to The HR Digest, genuine leaders “always look forward as visionaries and develop themselves for their team and organization.”

As a CEO are you able to differentiate yourself from typical leaders through the choices you make when navigating the challenges of daily leadership? From being transparent in your processes to providing value to all stakeholders, are you, as a CEO, confident in your capabilities and always looking for ways  you can improve your professional practices?

How to become a genuine leader: Set aside time to think about the values you want to instill into your teams and drive forward throughout your organization. To determine what matters most to your employees and business read on…

2. Invest in Your Emotional Intelligence

In 2019, it’s vital that future-forward CEOs consider the state of their mental wellbeing and how it impacts their overall ability to lead. When team members feel that they are supported by their CEOs and leaders, they often feel more connected to, inspired by, and motivated by their work.

To instill these values, you, as a CEO must focus on cultivating emotional intelligence in your  own life , and implement facets of it in how they lead their teams. When CEOs are emotionally intelligent, they are more visionary, optimistic, and self-aware of how their actions impact others.

How to build emotional intelligence: To build trust, optimize productivity, and keep employees motivated to do the best they can do every day, CEOs can work on:


    • Developing soft skills. By working to listen to employees and practicing empathy, CEOs can put themselves in the shoes of their employees to learn what they’re employees are looking for in their workplace while aligning themselves with the direct impact their decisions make on their teams.
    • Being proactive. In the modern workplace, it’s not enough for CEOs to make a decision and immediately expect it to be implemented throughout the organization. Rather, emotionally intelligent CEOs are proactive and carefully consider the impacts of their decisions and discussing expectations early with employees.

    • Practicing mindfulness. Mindful leaders and CEOs create high-performing teams through being respectful, thoughtful, and aware of all actions they take.


East Tenth Group works with CEOs to develop their emotional intelligence even further. Download our actionable free Insights Article “Emotional Intelligence and Smart Leadership” now or call us for a free consultation at 1-646-904-8035.


3. Cultivate Effective Communication Techniques

Harnessing well-rounded communication methods and rebuilding trust with employees go hand in hand. CEOs are often the face of an organization, but what is not regularly seen is that they are also the example of internal communication employees live up to.

CEOs who are looking to increase levels of trust can focus on cultivating effective communication techniques by refining how they interact with employees on a daily basis. Gone are the days of a top-down approach to leadership, and instead, there is an increasing need for holistic interactions with everyone on a team or, in small businesses, in the company.

How CEOs can cultivate best-in-class communication techniques: As a CEO, making yourself available to your employees and team is a critical aspect of effective communication. When employees feel comfortable approaching CEOs with their opinions, ideas, or thoughts, they’ll feel as though they can entrust you to effectively implement actions to overcome challenges.

When your employees do feel comfortable approaching you to chat, ensure that you’re practicing active listening. This means taking in what they’re saying, and carefully considering how you can most effectively answer their questions and provide best next-steps without making demands.

How CEOs Can Move Forward and Create Actionable Change

To move forward and reinstill that sense of trust, utilize the above tips, and implement the following small changes that can have a major impact on both your CEO work style and organization’s satisfaction:

  • Seek out opportunities for professional growth on a regular basis.
  • Strive to motivate your team by leading with intention for employee and organizational well-being.
  • Demonstrate that you value your employees daily through active listening and high-touch habits, including providing effective feedback and making time to have one-on-one chats with employees.


At an organizational level, it’s up to the CEO and other executive leaders to redefine and rebuild trust with employees. By working to improve individual leadership skills and communicating in a meaningful sense with employees, CEOs can make the actionable changes needed to create a culture of trust in the workplace.

At East Tenth Group, we are committed to helping CEOs and other organizational leaders create change in their leadership habits that both inspire and motivate their teams. Our Balanced Leadership™ Program is designed to help CEOs and leaders refine their skills to streamline their leadership capabilities for meaningful change.

To learn how you can start cultivating trust with your employees through high-value leadership techniques, contact my team and I at East Tenth Group today.



Want to Hire Better? Use Emotional Intelligence as your Differentiator

Apply These 6 Innovative Steps for Big-Impact Leadership