Trust is probably the most important aspect of creating a harmonious and efficient workforce.
If employees feel secure and trust you and your company, they will work to ensure it thrives.
There are two stages to success: creating trust and maintaining it.
These must be established through example, with the management setting a standard for honesty and transparency that should be emulated by every member of the workforce.
Here are some tips I’ve learned for building trust and keeping it as well as some red flags to keep an eye out for:
1. Establish Integrity
Integrity forms the foundation of trust. Integrity means keeping your word and being completely transparent, even in difficult situations. If your employees have confidence in your word, this will be reflected in their approach to work and the image they project to the outside world.
On the flip side, nothing confuses people more than inconsistency. If your employees can’t trust your word and are unsure of where they stand, they will start to feel insecure. This in turn will lead to a secretive work force. They will be afraid to disclose mistakes for fear of how you might react and will be constantly on the lookout for new jobs.
2. Don’t Withhold Information
Communication is the key to any successful relationship, working or otherwise. Setting out the company’s vision of where it wants to be and communicating core values allows employees to work toward shared goals.
Conversely, if information is withheld, rumors start and information can be misinterpreted, leading to false truths and staff insecurity. Use all opportunities to share information, good or bad, and provide forums to discuss. This will create an open and unified workforce that is on board with the direction you are taking
3. Consider Everyone an Equal
Trust is established — or blown — from the moment a new starter enters the team. Lead by example and welcome each new recruit so they feel valued as soon as they walk through the door.
Maintain this by continuing to take an interest and treating them with genuine respect. In return respect will be reciprocated and you will have a loyal, fulfilled member of staff.
All your employees should follow your example. Be vigilant of any instances of exclusion or bullying and take pains to encourage a supportive and friendly culture.
4. Open Your Mind
When employees feel they have a role to play in a well-oiled machine and are working together to achieve a shared goal, trust ensues.
No matter the position or how long an employee has been in the company, give everyone a voice. If they feel like they are being heard, trust will only bloom. Plus, you never know how your business might benefit from the wisdom your most junior team member might impart unless you ask.
5. Avoid Lies or Half-Truths
We all inherently know what’s “right” in any situation we face. However being truthful about the motive for a decision is not always easy. Sometimes it feels easier to bend the truth or tell the version you think people want to hear. Don’t.
By being transparent you will ultimately gain respect and prevent being discredited when people uncover the truth later down the line. Choosing the easy route is a false economy. Instead by being honest, no matter how hard, you will maintain trust.
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