The invisible threads of trust
Neither a spiritual retreat nor a self-help group, Tecpetrol's +Trust Program is all about building high-performing teams. The participants of the first meetings share their thoughts and impressions about the process.
To begin with, the expressions on people’s faces were a blend of skepticism and a certain amount of discomfort. An invitation was sent out to selected Tecpetrol employees to enlist their participation in three face-to-face meetings outside the workplace—together with their entire team. Neither a spiritual retreat nor group therapy, the Tecpetrol +Trust Program, known as +C in Spanish, is focused on fostering trust in oneself and in one’s peers, and helping leaders to trust their teams so that they can delegate more.
"Unlike other initiatives that are aimed at a population using a unified approach, with +C we’re working with the entire team, from the director down to the analyst. This bonds people through a shared code and means that everyone has a stake in what happens in each meeting, achieving a more profound impact," explained Julieta Delorenzi, Cultural Transformation Sr. Manager.
The program is designed to strengthen the visions held by work teams as a unified group of people. “It’s where we think about ourselves as a team and understand the different parts that make it up. This includes the bonds of trust between all team members, because recognizing and valuing the importance of each individual in the group enables us to strengthen collaboration and enhance results,” said María Eugenia Aniasi, Principal Exploration Geophysicist in Mexico, and one of the promoters driving the program, as she is on the team of Leaders for this axis.
Guadalupe González (Mexico City), Fernanda Marano (Buenos Aires), Patricio Chacha (Quito), Verónica Zárate (El Tordillo), Gonzalo Araya (El Tordillo), Xavier Montalvo and Iván Alcázar (both Quito) joined Aniasi at the meeting held to present the project, as part of the company’s Workplace Climate Action strategy. "When we understand the importance of interdependence, when we can acknowledge our own mistakes and foster mutual trust, we establish solid foundations for effective joint work, creating a workplace environment where everyone can grow," added Aniasi, who has been participating together with the team from the Exploration department.
Developed by the team of Leaders on this particular +D axis, the program was presented to the Change Governance Committee. Once they had issued their approval, the team joined forces with Human Resources and, with input from a consultant, worked on designing and coordinating a series of confidential meetings with the management team in Ecuador, and the Exploration, Technology and Financial Planning team in Buenos Aires, as the first in a list of different groups. New dates are being scheduled in parallel for teams from different areas and operations.
"The commitment shown by the leader in the area to this program, which takes them out of their comfort zone because they have to show vulnerability, is critical to creating that safe space that enables trust to grow," added Delorenzi. "The ultimate goal is for the team to work better together, for them to be high-performing, and to make that happen, people must be able to articulate what they need."