Trust is frequently mentioned as the foundation of a company’s success. Most people consider the issue in terms of customers: they must have faith in you and your products and services. However, trust within the company is equally important: Your staff must have faith in one another. When they don’t, communication, teamwork, and performance suffer as a result.
If you want your organization to prosper, you must cultivate mutual trust among all team members. However, this is easier said than done. Only one out of every five HR and engagement executives believes their employees have a high level of trust in corporate leaders, and half of the employees believe HR is untrustworthy.
Trust is vital for both in-person and remote teams. Any employee who lacks it is less likely to be motivated and productive. Employees at high-trust organizations report 74 percent less stress, 50 percent more productivity, and 40 percent less burnout.
This article goes into more detail below about why workplace trust is important, as well as nine methods you may develop trust among your staff.
Making a personal connection is one of the most effective trust-building tactics. This is especially true for executives. As a person’s authority grows, so does their perceived trustworthiness. They appear less dependent on others and hence less trustworthy. To counteract this viewpoint, get to know the people on your team and allow them to get to know you. This could be discussing how you share a hometown or a favorite sports team. It could also include hosting frequent brown-bag lunches or taking a few calls with the customer care team on occasion. You can as well show your employees that you care by getting them the right work wear here.
Your employees are distinct individuals with their own opinions and points of view. Invite them to express themselves, and when they do, truly listen. Positive workplace relationships are built on mutual understanding and trust. Active listening training is a wonderful way to improve your listening skills. This entails making a concerted effort to ask your staff questions and urge them to explain so you can properly comprehend what they’re saying. Every day, there are opportunities to listen. Set aside some time in meetings, for example, for employees to discuss their work experience and how they’re feeling.
Share as much information as possible about the company’s present state and future aspirations. Otherwise, you’ll be continually fighting the rumor mill. “If there is a lack of knowledge, employees will replace it with bad information,” Dougherty adds. There may be some data that you cannot share, such as remuneration, but frequently disseminating other information — such as financial reports, performance indicators, and board meeting notes — demonstrates that you trust your staff, which helps them have more faith in you. Being transparent also entails having the courage to communicate the truth, even if it means being the bearer of bad news.
You must solicit feedback on a constant basis: only 10% of employees are pleased with yearly feedback requests, while 64% desire the ability to submit feedback at any time. Look for a feedback solution that includes pulse surveys so you can collect information from team members on a regular basis, as well as an always-on, employee-driven feedback channel, such as a workplace chatbot, so your employees may offer their opinions at any time. You should also search for a solution that is supported by a team of feedback professionals who can work with you to discover your specific needs and then design a customized survey cadence and selection of questions that will provide you with actionable insights.
Employees can tell the difference between being given directions and being encouraged. You don’t succeed in the long run if you tell people what to do. You must persuade them to do it. Employees will work harder and smarter if they believe they are empowered to achieve and that the company’s goals are aligned with their own. For managers, this entails delegating work and allowing as much autonomy as feasible, while also clearly stating your goals and how performance will be judged. If you trust them, they will trust you.
If you take the initial step and demonstrate your faith in your employees, they will be more likely to reciprocate. So, how can you demonstrate your confidence in your employees? Encourage professional development and autonomy in order to empower them. Add additional obligations to their plate. Invite them to meetings that they would not normally attend. Allow a sales representative to attend a strategy meeting, for example, so they can share on-the-ground observations to assist steer your future sales and marketing efforts. They will remember your faith in them, and you will profit from their unique perspective.
Following up your words with deeds on a regular basis will not develop trust. You must demonstrate consistency. Practice what you teach on a daily basis so your staff knows what to anticipate and doesn’t have to worry if you’ll deliver. Do the same if you expect your crew to arrive on time. Do your homework if you expect them to know your clients inside and out. Your staff will believe that you will keep your word, set a good example, and execute an excellent job.
Managers and leaders play a critical role in fostering workplace trust. According to research, honest leadership may foster trust and boost employee engagement and performance. One of the most successful methods for them to accomplish this is to coach their staff rather than acting like traditional “bosses” and disciplining people when they perform poorly. Employees will be more likely to trust you and listen to your recommendations if you coach them and exceed their expectations.
Yes, your staff are paid for their efforts, but this is insufficient evidence that you value and trust them. It is critical to present them with frequent, real-time recognition. You can express gratitude by sending thank-you cards, vocal appreciation, and providing physical prizes such as bonuses and staff awards.