Trust is often thought of as the foundation of an organization. Perhaps the most important kind of trust is that between a manager and his or her employee(s). When trust is lacking, it breaks down employee morale and causes turnover rates to skyrocket.
Building confidence with your employees is crucial to boosting motivation, increasing employee engagement, and ensuring the long-term profitability of your company.
So, how can you gain the trust of your employees?
1. Transparency: No one likes being lied to, and most people can see right through something that is less than the truth. Lack of honesty in an organization feeds the rumor mill and causes employees to question much of what they thought they knew. Providing as much information to employees as possible, good or bad, is crucial to building trust.
2. Followthrough: Part of being a leader is being dependable and following through with what is promised. Just as no one trusts the flakey friend who constantly changes plans, an employee will find it challenging to rely on a manager that says they are going to do something and then never follows through.
3. Walk your talk: Actions speak louder than words. Similar to our last point, a key aspect of achieving a healthy relationship with employees is by practicing what you preach.For example, if you want your employees to think of you as having an “open door policy,” then make sure your door is open anytime it possibly can be.If you promote a strong work life balance, don’t require employees to work late, miss time with their families, etc. Purposeful actions go a long way in building trust and creating a great environment.
4. Actively listen: Employees want to be heard because it makes them feel that they have some control over their work environment. Actively listening means putting your whole attention on the person you are talking with; not getting distracted, planning your response, or thinking about something else altogether. Active listening allows managers to understand the thoughts and feelings of their employees, which in turn creates increased lines of communication.
5. Be respectful: Follow the “Golden Rule” and treat your employees as you would want to be treated. If you don’t respect your employees, don’t expect them to reciprocate.Respect is one of the foundations of building trust. Without it, trust is almost impossible to attain.
6. Take accountability: One of the best ways a manager can build trust with employees is to admit mistakes and take responsibility for their actions. Everyone makes mistakes andlearning from them is important. Admitting to an error shows humility, charisma, and even strength.
7. Be mindful: Be aware of what your individual actions and behaviors are doing to build or destroy trust. It is easy to get caught up in our daily routine and pay little attention to how our attitudes are affecting others.
8. Appreciate: Giving employees credit can go a long way in building a trusting relationship. Individuals who feel they are not valued are likely to put less effort into their jobs, compare themselves to others, and harbor resentment. Studies surrounding Victor Vroom’s Expectancy Theory of Motivation have proven that an employee will be motivated to perform at a high level when they believe that this effort will lead to a good performance review, organizational rewards, or the completion of a personal goal.
9. Coach, don’t demand.Mentoring promotes learning while demand stimulates fear, anger, and bitterness. In addition to overseeing the workflow of an individual, a manager should be a core resource for training, conflict solving, and providing knowledge to help the employee grow.
10. Be human: Even the most powerful CEO in the world is still a person with feelings, triumphs, and tribulations. Letting down your guard once in a while won’t make you weak- it will make you more relatable, personable, respected, and trusted.
By using these strategies, you can build strong and long lasting relationships with your employees. This will ultimately increase your employees' happiness, creativity, and your company’s profitability.