Authentic Leadership & Building Trust in the Workplace

Xyris Tapia - Author

Share This Page To:

The Great Place to Work® model and research show that TRUST is the most significant contributor to an organization’s growth and business success. Most would attribute success as a by-product of a company’s exceptional services, but employee engagement and productivity brought about by effective leadership is just as monumental a foundation, if not more. When employees consistently experience high-trust in the organization; when they perceive them as being fair, credible, and a shared space for respect and camaraderie; they would feel pride in what they do and would willingly go the extra mile to contribute to the organization’s common goals. Trust has a profound impact on performance and corresponding business results.

But TRUST is not easy to build. It is cultivated upon layers of interactions between people coming from different backgrounds and varying levels within the organization. Perceptions of trustworthiness of colleagues, transparent communication, consistency in actions and authentic leadership are among the many factors that employees infer to when building their trust and commitment towards their company.

In August, we invited both the President and the Culture Leader at S&P Global Philippines, who was Great Place To Work® Certified in February 2020, to share with us their experiences and practices in strengthening trust and sustaining a healthy, robust workforce especially during this COVID-19 pandemic. Aptly entitled ‘Trust. Empathy. Authenticity: Strengthening Connection in the Virtual Workplace,’ Jimbo Borja and Jen Lozano shared with our audience not just their best practices, but how important the partnership is between a Senior Leader and HR in reinforcing their culture during challenging times.

“When we take care of our people, it doesn’t necessarily have to be financial all the time – putting the right resources to mentor them, asking them for their career aspirations, and other motivating factors, this doesn’t involve any cost. It’s pure empathizing and providing them resources relevant to their needs.” – Jimbo Borja, President, S&P Global Philippines

Even prior to the pandemic, S&P Global foregrounds Integrity as one of their core values, whereby they aim to follow through and deliver on commitments they have made – to employees as much as customers; they practice empathy to enrich each other’s lives along with that of the greater community; and emphasize the significance of open and honest communication.

Likewise, as a People Partner, Jen Lozano shares:

“We have shied away from the more traditional structure where HR is very administrative, much like a policing body. For the longest time, it has always been a partnership. That’s why I’m a People Partner – I partner with the business and our people in the organization.”

Jen and her team of People Partners take the time to hold sessions with each individual member across all levels, and not just with managers and supervisors. They want to create a distinct, personalised relationship with each member to realize their strengths and individual challenges, build on their skills, and bring out their employees’ ‘Best Selves’ to the workplace.

A key takeaway from the webinar would be that the tone for efficient teamwork and trust-based employee engagement comes from the top. To ensure that employees understand and align themselves with the organization’s vision and values, leaders must open as many communication lines as possible. An effective leader should be compelled to share as much as he/she can, be it company failures and successes, or coaching and mentoring, and listen as much as he/she can. This is the fundamental way of creating authentic relationships with peers at work. Employees need to feel trusted for them to trust you. When laid correctly, these building blocks of authenticity, empathy and trust will lead to any organization’s resilient long-term development.

Xyris Tapia - Author
Xyris Tapia

Xyris loves to look at life through a broader lens. She is a certified bookworm, occasional writer, intrepid traveler and design enthusiast. She likes to create and breathe vibrancy to things. When not organizing events, she is a content contributor for GPTW PH and likewise handles corporate matters. A happy wife and a doting mom, she finds joy in unique experiences and believes that everyone has the potential for greatness.

Get your Company Certified

Certification is affordable, easy, and can be completed in as few as three weeks.

Get the Latest Articles, Insights, Trends and More.


To be eligible for the World’s Best Workplaces list, a company must apply and be named to a minimum of 5 national Best Workplaces lists within our current 58 countries, have 5,000 employees or more worldwide, and at least 40% of the company’s workforce (or 5,000 employees) must be based outside of the home country. Extra points are given based on the number of countries where a company surveys employees with the Great Place to Work Trust Index©, and the percentage of a company’s workforce represented by all Great Place to Work surveys globally. Candidates for the 2017 Worlds Best Workplaces list will have appeared on national workplaces lists published in September 2016 through August 2017.