One of the fundamental ways a company continues to experience growth is by building trust with its customer base, employees leadership investors and causal followers.

Trust is the difference between making a sale or investing time and financial resources to convince consumers to do business with your organization.

Trust is the difference between lifelong employees invested in growing your business. or a team whose sole purpose is to hit the clock and try to get through what they think is just a job for them.

Trust is hard to earn and easy to lose – but it's a currency worth pursuing. With an audience, a customer base, and a team built on trust you create lifelong customers who buy every version of a new product or service that your company produces. It creates a team that treats your business as if it were stakeholders, even if they are not.

One of the reasons why companies crash, burn out or fail is because they are constantly stirring customers and employees.

A company creates and increases sales through creative marketing and the right offering. Customers invest a first level of trust. After the sale, trust is earned because the company keeps its promise – and that's more than the widget (the product or service). The same goes for hiring and retaining leadership and team members.

When a company doesn't keep its promises, customers and employees lose confidence and stop doing business with that company. The organization then repeats the cycle until more customers and employees are churned than retained.

At some point the music stops and someone is left without a chair. This churning creates a company that has lost confidence and a crowd of consumers and former employees who loudly take to social media (and various channels) to tell other consumers to avoid doing business with the company.

We see this being played every day with companies of all sizes. How does it get to that point? And more importantly, what are the lessons for your business?

Consumers Want Modern Leadership

Right now, business leaders and organizations are trying to maintain the trust of their customer base. All eyes are on companies to see how a company implements diverse and inclusive leadership development practices.

Consumers know the real thing when they see it. Surface-level efforts are what upset customers and employees. Customers do business with a brand that remains true to its values ​​and delivers on its brand promise. The conversation about race, gender equality and inclusion is an important discussion that needs to be addressed.

For real change to take place, there must be an evaluation of current procedures. Now is a great time to take every opportunity to change your business with regard to diversity and inclusion. It's a window to take steps that build more trust with your customers and employees, and that leads to a stronger company.

Making Adjustments

Inclusive leadership development means looking at your company's external and internal communications – does it include race, age and gender? You evaluate your recruiting and team building practices. Do you have clear guidelines on strategies for inclusive recruiting and team growth?

You look for ways to get involved in inclusive goals. Are there organizations or initiatives you could be involved in that align with your company values? You step back and see how your values ​​are portrayed in every part of your business. Do you stay true to the fundamentals of your business?

You plan for the future and understand that employees expect more. Are you building an innovative and flexible company?

Employees want more

The average working week is longer and very different these days. A Gallup poll says the typical working week is 47 hours long. When you consider that a large contingent of employees now work from home, there could be an amalgamation of work and private life.

That is a significant portion of the week your employee spends doing a job that he or she loves or hates. When employees spend so much of their team working for a company, they feel that it does not represent their values, but is reflected in their production and the quality of their work.

If your goal is to build a business that can withstand the unexpected conditions of growth, you need leadership development strategies that help employees and consumers feel that you understand and are committed to diverse and inclusive growth.

It is time for an honest conversation about values, commitment and inclusive leadership. Now is a good time to clarify the diversity and inclusion efforts that your company will make.

The growth of your business depends on it. Whether you are the CEO or a department head, you can instill confidence in your employees and consumers.

Written by Raj Subrameyer .