How to Build Up Your Trust With Your Employees (infographic)

Trust is the foundation of success. If you are an athlete, you have to trust your teammates. If you are a musician, you have to trust your counterparts. If you are an entrepreneur, you have to trust the people you work with. And if you’re leading a company, you have to build the trust of your employees. Every problem companies experience with their employees springs from the same root cause: there is too little trust in the environment, so there is too much fear. Too little trust + too much fear = toxic work environment. Here are ten proven ways to build trust:The days where people would get a job with a company and stay with them for the rest of their careers are long gone, with most workers now flitting between jobs as they climb the ladder. But this doesn’t mean that there’s no benefit to engaging with your employees and earning their trust for however long they work for you.

For a start, gaining the trust of your employees is a great way to stop them from leaving, with 93% of workers telling a survey that trust in their boss is essential for them staying satisfied in their jobs. Even more importantly than that, it’s been proved to be a factor in the success of a business, with companies with high levels of trust two and a half times more likely to also have high revenues.

That’s why it’s important to earn the trust of your employees, so here are some tips from The Business Backer that will help you make sure you’re doing just that:

Communication

The biggest way you can build up a relationship with your staff that’s built on trust and respect is to communicate effectively with them, and this means that communications are two-way. When they are talking to you, try active listening, which means asking open-ended questions that encourages them to keep talking, making them feel valued and demonstrating that you respect them.
Related: How to Start and End Your Work Day (infographic)
The onus also falls on you to make sure that they understand their place in the business and what the future holds, so keep them aware of the big picture when appropriate. This will not only help them feel involved and engaged but also reduce any stress they might feel if they have uncertainty, and that has been proven to inhibit the release of oxytocin, which promotes social bonding and teamwork.

Another area where a lack of communication and clarity can lead to confusion and a loss of trust is how you set expectations for your employees. A weekly catch-up meeting with each of them to keep both of you up to date with expectations, progress and any issues will help build a relationship built on trust and support.

Trust And Be Trustworthy

If you want to be trusted by somebody, you need to demonstrate to them that you are showing your trust in them and behaving in a way that is worthy of earning it back. Of course, as their manager, you need to know you can trust them to do work that meets the needs of the business, but the only way to find this out is to give them the chance to earn it, so delegate a low risk project to them and let them prove what they can do, without micromanaging them.

If they do well, you can give them increasingly significant work, which will make them feel like you are placing ever more trust in them, and as long as you communicate effectively to be sure they are coping with it, this will build up a ‘trust cycle’ between you. When discussing feedback, be as honest as possible as this will also demonstrate your trust in them and allow for healthy conflict that will engender their trust in you as their manager. Where possible, let this flow into giving them as much of the kind of work they enjoy as you can, which will improve their focus as well as their sense of wellbeing in their job.
Also Read: Work/Life Balance in the Modern Era (Infographic)
Just as crucially, you need to show that they can trust you and rely on you, so when you give your employees your word about something - stick to it. They need to know that you are predictable rather than erratic, so anytime you can’t live up to your promises, acknowledge and apologize, then do whatever you can to make up for it.

Treat Them The Way You’d Want To Be Treated

Finally, another powerful way to show your employees that they should place their trust in you to have their best interests at heart is to simply treat them the way you would want to be treated in their position. It’s an easy concept to forget in the chaos and pressure of a working day, but seemingly little things like acknowledging good work publicly can have a huge effect on how they feel about their jobs - and you.

According to Paul J. Zak from Claremont Graduate University: “The neuroscience shows that recognition has the largest effect on trust when it occurs immediately after a goal has been met, when it comes from peers, and when it’s tangible, unexpected, personal, and public.” This shows the importance of recognizing your employees’ achievements as they happen, because it can really help to build their trust in you.

As a manager, you may well feel that you need to keep up a professional wall between you and the people who work for you, but socializing and sharing some of yourself builds up that level of trust that is required for truly great teamwork, and this has been shown to improve performance and results. So whether it’s joining in on nights out or introducing icebreakers in team meetings, find a way to make yourself more approachable and therefore, trustworthy for your employees.

By using some of these tips from The Business Backer you’ll be demonstrating to your team that you are a manager who cares about earning their trust, because you respect and value them and their contributions. In return, you’ll have a workforce that is more engaged and productive and less likely to be checking for jobs on their lunch break.

How to Build Up Your Trust With Your Employees (infographic), 10 steps leaders should take to build trust with their team (infographic)

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