Canadian company defies current trend of declining trust in business

    TORONTO, Sept. 3 /CNW Telbec/ - At a time when declining trust in
business is accelerating, one Canadian company has made earning the trust of
its stakeholders the cornerstone of its business. A Conference Board of Canada
profile, The Dalton Company Ltd.: Building on a Foundation of Trust, describes
how this professional building services firm has created a culture of trust
and implemented systems to ensure that its values are translated into actions
for its stakeholders.
    "Trust is not an intangible, 'soft' concept, but a key issue in business
today," said Andrew Dalton, CEO of The Dalton Company Ltd. "In a challenging
economy, a corporate culture of earning, predicting, and measuring trust will
prove critical to any organization's sustainability. If you don't have clear
standards, you can't hold people accountable."
    "Dalton has put in place systems and processes that have made the company
a model for restoring trust in the construction industry as a whole," said
Michael Bassett, Senior Research Associate, The Conference Board of Canada.
    This trust model is based on accountability and leadership. The company
becomes involved early to understand clients' needs and remains involved
throughout the building process.
    One key factor for Dalton in building trust is the way in which issues
are resolved. The company devised a weekly issue resolution mechanism that
identifies potential solutions for problems as they arise within each project.
The process begins with the responsible lead for the project. Known as the
"Yellow", this person reports on the project to the leadership team at Dalton
each week. With this process, there is no finger-pointing; instead, the team
works together to find solutions.
    In their Alternative Approach to Building, Dalton positions customers as
the priority and focuses on their needs - or their Definition of Success
(DOS). The development of the DOS at the start of a project is an important
trust building exercise, as it creates accountability between customers and
employees. While success is typically defined as having the project delivered
well, on time and on budget, Dalton delves deeper to understand all the
underlying motivations. Once the DOS is established, Dalton measures the
performance of its project team based on the client's feedback in relation to
the DOS.
    While demonstrating trust externally is integral, the company also
believes strongly in showing and rewarding trust internally: Trust is
integrated into hiring practices and Dalton's bonus system. The organization's
recruiting process focuses on whether potential employees will fit within the
culture of the organization and employees are rewarded for demonstrating
trustworthy behaviour.
    "You can train skills; I don't think you can train trust," says Andrew
    The publication is available from the Conference Board's e-library,
including additional research on trust.

    About The Dalton Company Ltd.

    The Dalton Company Ltd. provides Professional Building Services, which
include all the functions needed to manage a project from beginning to
completion. Serving the southern Ontario region for 69 years, Dalton
specializes in the commercial and high-end residential sectors with a focus on
academics, broadcast, community, corporate, cultural & heritage and private
clubs. Dalton's award-winning work includes Artscape Wychwood Barns, Toronto
Botanical Garden, Roy Thomson Hall, and the Granite Club. To learn more, visit

For further information:

For further information: Brent Dowdall, Media Relations, Conference
Board of Canada, Tel.: (613) 526-3090 ext. 448, E-mail:; Andrea Zviedris, Director of Communications, The
Dalton Company Ltd., Tel.: (416) 789-4195 ext. 265, E-mail:

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