On a recent journey to conduct recruitment and selection of our newest team members I listened to a USA magazine Success CD from 2012; the discussion was about ‘Trust’. The interview was with David Horsager and what David said resonated with me as I believe trust is an attribute which the Dosh business model is built on.
Dosh Ltd www.dosh.org is a non-profit organisation that supports people with a learning disability to be in control of their money. Dosh provides corporate appointeeship, financial advocacy, account management and money check services for over 1000 people; partnering with nearly 200 different care and support providers across England, Scotland and Wales.
We believe that we have seen significant growth in the last 10 years because people who engage with our company trust us – we currently receive (on average) over 20 referrals a month. For us trust in our company is having a confident belief in what we do.
For our Business Plan for 2019/20 we have made commitments and endeavours to the people we support and those who have a stake in our company. During this business year we will enhance our ‘Trust Edge’ as part of our ‘Competitive Advantage’.
Some people think trust is a soft skill but if an organisation makes a serious mistake through a breach of trust it can easily become a commercial crisis or even a disaster which, without exception, will hit your bottom line! Still think it is a soft skill?
Here are our 8 pillars of Trust, adapting the headings from the ‘Success’ magazine interview:
For Dosh this means doing what is right over what is easy and each team member has this characteristic; staying true to our values, doing what is right. There are often occasions when colleagues are up against it and the situations can feel insurmountable. It is always at this point they find the energy and determination to persevere in-order to get the best outcome for the people they support.
We are also honest about our failures and successes and learn from them. This is part of our leadership way: https://leadershipintheraw.org/2014/09/25/leadership-the-dosh-way/
All team members think beyond themselves when they consider their work and how they will support people and their colleagues. They care! Our team members write stories for our Board of Directors (and we share them on our website) about how they have made a difference in another person’s life through their work.
We are clear about what our mission is: “to support people to be more independent and have more control over their money” and we share our ‘Dosh Promise’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vAJbvcnvug a set of standards by people with learning a learning disability (which we are assessed on by the people we support as part of our Annual Review). People know what is included in our service and we detail this in our Information Guide and on our website and all our documentation is written in an accessible format. We are clear about the benefits of our support and service to people with a learning disability.
I was sitting in an international renowned fast food outlet this morning (you know the one) thinking about the importance of consistency and trust. I thought about my visits to their restaurants in: Hong Kong, Singapore, Berlin, Belfast, Brussels and Colchester. When I eat their mini apple pie they always consistently burn my mouth! I know they will do this and so I trust it will happen – every time.
Dosh work to a number of key performance indicators (KPIs) which our team members regularly report on and which our Board of Directors monitor and evaluate. These KPIs are based on what people we support think are important to them. Working in this way ensures we consistently support people across the country to deliver the same service.
I have found people trust ‘sameness’. Little things done the same way can have the biggest impact – they all add up.
You will not be surprised to read that supporting people with welfare benefits is complex. Government changes are fluid and if we are to support people to maximise their money it is important our team members are not just recruited for their values and positive attitudes, but are competent.
Our Financial Advocates often come from a Banking and or Benefits background. They take their continued professional development seriously: staying fresh, relevant and capable. They know how to share their learning with those they support.
As a company we publish a (free) quarterly Dosh Newsletter to those who have an interest in supporting people with their money: https://leadershipintheraw.org/2019/01/02/dosh-winter-newsletter-2018/
It is not enough to just be busy. To build trust you need to contribute and our team members’ contributions are their results for the people they support:
- During our Annual Reviews in 2018 – 97% of people we support said they were happy with Dosh Support and 98% of people told us they can choose how they spend their money to do the things they want.
- Migrating from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to Person Independent Payments (PIP) the team has gone up by 350K for people supported
- The weekly income for new people supported have risen by £51.62 per week
- Average savings increased by £4,616, in their first year of support with Dosh.
It is not enough to just communicate with people; we also need to connect with them. So we prioritise building trust with the people and communities we work with. We devote time to building relationships which we hope will last for many years. We do this by becoming part of a person’s circle of support (their network) and we speak up for people when they can not speak for themselves.
We also seek out collaborations with other organisations.
Our team members have a selfless commitment to the people they support; standing with them through adversity. They care about what is really needed and as a company we find ways to measure this through our Annual Reviews.
In addition to our Business Plan, we will launch a major project in April – ‘Project 2000’which forms part of our five year strategic direction.
How to put this into practice
(With thanks and gratitude to ‘Civil Society Futures – Independent Enquiry’)
- Notice when you’re taking or avoiding risks. Ask what you would do in that situation if you were ten times braver.
- Understand how to gain trust and acceptance within different spaces and communities.
- Make time to seek out different perspectives and views and to listen deeply.
- Admit when you don’t know and ask for support.
More thoughts on ‘Trust’
‘There are multiple reasons why this topic merits consideration. Quality of relationships, personal & team resilience and the quality of decision-making are just a few. In my experience when first asked the question about levels of trust and openness within a team, people can feel awkward about saying what they really believe. This results in an over estimation of how good things really are. So how can you become more informed?’:
https://leadershipintheraw.org/2016/03/15/team-trust-and-openness-awkward-topic-or-team-enabler/ By Damian Piper, Effective Challenge why does it matter?
Bettina, my youngest daughter has a learning disability and Autism. Bettina will always need to have someone by her side, so how did our relationship evolve over the years so that new experiences no longer faze her? I believe it had everything to do with ‘Trust’:
https://leadershipintheraw.org/2015/07/28/being-bettinas-dad-trust-is-a-gift-you-must-earn/ By Steve Raw, Leadership in the Raw