Trust is something that every relationship needs in order to thrive. While everyone knows the major importance of trust for personal relationships, pets included, it’s just as important for professional relationships too. If you apply for a job, you’re trusting that you will get your paycheck, that you will get the money you need for the service you just provided. The same can be said on the other side; if you’re hiring, you’re trusting that the person you hired will do the work they need to do.
Trust is needed for both parties and even if one person trusts and the other doesn’t, that relationship will crumble soon enough. That’s why it’s so important to have trust. Without trust, you can’t build relationships, you can’t rely on others, and you essentially can’t get anything done. So, if you’re hoping to build up a trusting environment, here’s exactly what you need to know so you can achieve it.
Why Is Trust So Important for Business?
If you want to promote growth as a professional, you’re honestly going to need to begin by proving that you’re a trustworthy individual. Trust is a key driver of employee engagement and a major part of the workplace experience. It’s a must-have for organizational success and helps create a work environment that aligns with employees’ priorities and motivations. Leaders can also encourage team-building activities that allow employees to connect and get to know each other as individuals.
This can be especially important for cross-functional teams who may rarely interact outside of their regular responsibilities. Building these relationships enables them to share their ideas, perspectives, and feelings with one another. This leads to greater understanding and mutual respect, both of which are essential factors in creating trust in the workplace.
Start By Practicing What You Preach
Whether you’re a business owner, a manager, or just someone else who works at a company, you need to practice what you preach. This is essential to building up trust, as well as having a good personal reputation. If you say something, don’t do the opposite, people hate hypocrites, and it’s the fastest way of getting yourself to have less trust. If you take it out of an individual level, and it’s a company as a whole, it’s trust as important. To build trust, leaders must practice what they preach on both an individual and a macro level. Empty promises like mission statements and diversity goals aren’t helpful unless people see them in action.
Next up, you’re going to want to work towards being consistent. It’s somewhat similar to practicing what you preach. When employees see consistent policies and practices in place, it signals that managers and leadership are committed to maintaining a respectful workplace. It also allows workers to feel safe and secure in their roles, which will motivate them to show up fully for work every day. Generally speaking, you just don’t want to flip-flop, so it’s also about keeping your word.
When employees feel comfortable being themselves at work, they tend to feel more trusting of their leaders. Authenticity can lead to more effective feedback, less stress, and higher job satisfaction, all of which are important for a healthy work culture. Moreover, it’s crucial that employees know their leaders will respect their ideas, perspectives, and individuality. Leaders who don’t demonstrate these qualities can damage trust and create a workplace that is full of distrust. That’s why you need to be genuine, have a smile on your face. Don’t be afraid to ask people how they’re doing. You want to radiate warmth to you because it screams authenticity.
Being genuine also means being transparent. Whether it’s about a project’s progress or an employee’s performance, they should communicate this information honestly. This demonstrates that the leadership cares about the team members. It also makes it clear that employees can approach the leadership with questions and concerns.
One of the best things that has come out thanks to technology would be tracking and monitoring tools. These are incredible as they essentially help stop the issue of micromanaging. Honestly, it doesn’t matter what business you’re in or what you do; micromanaging just doesn’t work. If you’re in the contractor-oriented industry, then something like a buildops field service platform is only perfect, as you’ll get all the information you need without having to micromanage.
So, why doesn’t micromanaging not work? While micromanaging may seem like a good idea for certain situations, it is actually one of the most damaging things that you can do. It leads to burnout (which is not good for you or your team) and stifles the creativity of your employees. For example, if you are constantly deriding your employees for their mistakes, they’re going to feel that their work is not valued or trusted by the organization.
Moreover, they will begin to question their own abilities and will not want to take risks. It is essential to trust your employees and allow them to be independent. Try delegating tasks and giving your employees autonomy, and watch them thrive! This can be achieved through better communication with your team.
Stay Honest and Transparent
You need to be open and honest to everyone, loved ones, friends, family, employees, suppliers, customers, clients, followers, and the list goes on and on. It seems obvious, but honesty is essential to trust. Lying is the fastest way to break trust. Whether it’s about a minor slip-up or something serious, always tell the truth. This doesn’t just make you a better person, but it also helps others trust you more. It’s especially important to be honest when communicating with employees.
Managers who don’t share information openly with their team are not doing their job well. This can include salary information, company financials, and other important facts. Honesty and transparency are the two most important things you need to do in any relationship. So, what about transparency? Well, it does go hand in hand, and it’s not just about the work environment- but the reputation of the company in general. Many organizations are incorporating transparency into their corporate values. This is especially true when it comes to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. Customers and clients keep track of companies and what they’re doing to better the world, so you should keep this completely open.
Flexibility is Key
Flexibility is a two-way street. When leaders and employees both stay flexible, it can create trust and allow people to work when and where they’re most productive. One way to do this is by giving employees clear metrics on how their work is assessed and ensuring they have resources to support flexibility. It’s also important to avoid micromanaging, which can make employees feel like their bosses don’t trust them to get the job done.
Instead, be supportive without hovering, and encourage open questions and non-judgemental active listening to build trust between team members. This will help employees to feel safe enough to ask questions and take smart risks, even when working from home. This can be especially important in cross-functional teams where team members don’t regularly meet.
You Need Accountability
You honestly can’t have trust until you have accountability. Accountability can seem like a dirty word, but when it’s done respectfully, it’s an essential part of building trust in the workplace. When employees have a culture of accountability, they’re more likely to speak up when things go wrong. This can help identify issues and improve team communication, but it’s important to balance the idea of accountability with the need to respect individual differences in personalities and work styles. If you want others to be accountable, you need to prove that you’re accountable.
Leaders like yourself must communicate consistently and be transparent. They should create a line of communication where employees feel secure in their roles and understand the company’s goals and vision. When an employee has a problem, they need to know that their supervisor will listen to them and work together to find a solution. This is why it’s essential to have a system that allows employees to easily and immediately give feedback to their supervisors.
When workers feel safe to express their concerns, they will take risks and be innovative in their work. This leads to higher productivity and a happier workplace. In addition, trust-based cultures produce more financial results and have lower turnover than low-trust environments. Be open to communicating and welcome communication from everyone as well. Work should be a safe place to voice concerns. If not, you can count on your business meeting its demise like plenty of others.
Be a Good Leader
Being a good leader isn’t telling people what to do. You can own a business and still be a terrible leader. Leaders lead, they take charge, and they get their hands dirty at the same time too. They show sympathy, empathy, they listen, and so much more. If you’re barking orders but not getting involved, how can you expect to build a trusting work environment?