Trust is an essential part of any successful relationship, including those at work. When trust is compromised, things tend to fall apart. But when it works both ways, great things happen.
Top organisations invest much time and effort into cultivating trust at every level. They understand that real trust is the key to success and value it above almost everything else. In fact, if given the choice, many managers would choose an average performer who they trust over a high-performer they cannot.
Trust doesn’t just happen – you need to work hard to achieve it. In this article we’ll share some tips on cultivating, demonstrating and maintaining trust between employers and employees to help you create a happy and high-performing workplace.
Why Trust Matters
Trust is at the heart of every great relationship in both your personal and professional life. In business, trust between employers, employees, customers and stakeholders is essential to success. When there is trust in the workplace employees are more productive, motivated and loyal. And when managers can trust their team to work effectively and use initiative, they have more time available to focus on strategic tasks and growing the business.
Building Trust at Work
Most people think of themselves as trustworthy and assume that everyone else will agree. However, others can’t see your thoughts or values, only your actions. This means building trust is all about what you do, not what you say.
There are many ways employers can build trust with their team, including giving each member the opportunity to manage their schedule and make decisions within their role. Employees can in turn demonstrate their trustworthiness by following through on promises and taking responsibility for their workload.
Demonstrating Trust in Your Team
Once trust has developed, it’s important to acknowledge and nurture it daily. A big one for managers is to always be open and honest in your communication with all members of your team, from top-tier through to entry level. While they may not all be entitled to the same level of insight, you should aim to keep everyone in the loop as much as possible. This is not only important for trust, but also to build morale and a strong team.
You should also avoid micromanaging and instead give your employees plenty of encouragement and support to develop in their role. Let them know the lines of communication are open both ways, and that you are willing to listen to their ideas and feedback and act on them.
Maintaining Trust in the Workplace
Trust can be fickle, so make it a priority to maintain it. Effective communication should be a high priority, as staff who are informed are far more likely to feel valued and trusted. Find a method that works to share important news, insights and developments on a regular basis. This could be a weekly team check-in, one-on-one meeting, email updates or company newsletter. In addition, having an open-door policy allows your team to speak openly and honestly with you, encouraging ongoing mutual trust.
In Closing – Actions Speak Louder Than Words
As a manager, it’s not enough to tell your team you trust them – you must also demonstrate in your actions. Be open and transparent in your communication and empower them to manage their workload without unnecessary interference. Be realistic in your expectations of them and encourage and listen to feedback to be sure they feel trust in you.
When it comes to trust, actions speak louder than words. By making it a priority to build, demonstrate and maintain trust in your workplace, you’ll be rewarded with a happy, productive and motivated team - and the results will speak for themselves.
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