How to Establish Employee Trust in the Office

by Ty Tucker

The root of success within a company usually has a lot to do with how much employees can trust their leaders. If employees trust you and believe that you’re there to help them in the long run, then they will be engaged and ready to perform their best. Without trust, nothing will work – at least not for long.

It doesn’t matter if you have the best perks – like a fancy cafeteria or a free gym in your office – without trust, none of this matters. Unfortunately, there are many companies that don’t understand this, or realize things need to change but decide not to do anything about it. Our relationships at work are a lot like our relationships with our significant others. Trust is the most important aspect of a relationship, and the same goes for your work life.

With that being said, here are three tips you can use to help establish more trust in the office.

Let your employees know that you are there to help them win. To increase trust among employees, managers can start by embracing technology to help your team work toward a common objective. Performance management platforms can provide transparency and alignment across an organization so that everyone has the same end goal in mind. With tools utilizing gamification, managers can inspire a little fun within the office, while also opening a line of communication between employees and managers about performance and expectations. When everyone is working together toward a shared goal, it will lead to increased trust among employees who support and root for one another.

Remember to continuously communicate with your employees. Another important building block of any organization is the ability to communicate. We learn this early on in our formative years as a child with our parents, and continue to build upon it as we establish various relationships including professional ones. The best managers keep this idea at the top of their minds at all times, communicating openly, defining expectations, providing recognition when expectations are met, and utilizing failures as constructive coaching opportunities. This is the key to trust in the workplace. When employees are comfortable, they will speak their mind and bring new ideas to the table on a daily basis, and additionally when people understand expectations they are more likely to meet those expectations. Too often there is a cloud of uncertainty around expectations and accountability, ultimately setting up both employees and management up for failure. Don’t wait until the dreaded annual review to discuss a person’s growth within the company – provide employees with regular feedback and maintain an open door policy all year-round.

Remind your employees that you want them to grow within the company. The best employers are consistently thinking about ways they can invest in their staff to keep them motivated, productive, happy and constantly aligned with company goals. When managers show that they care about their employees’ development and growth, employees feel valued and respected and in turn, do their best work. In addition to trusting in you as their employer, employees will begin to trust in their own capabilities and potential more than ever before.

While this list only scratches the surface, it’s a great start in building workplace trust, which is the cornerstone of any successful company. Once trust is damaged in the workplace, it is often difficult to regain. Provide your employees with a comfortable environment for open communication, risk-taking, achievement and innovation – you won’t regret it.

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