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Why is Trust Important in the Workplace?

Trust is the foundation of every relationship. It will make or break a marriage, a friendship, and a company. Successful businesses are built on trust. Relationships between employers and employees, staff and customers, internal stakeholders, and external stakeholders’ success all depend on trust. The single most important opportunity for every leader is to build trust because from there, all great things happen teams ignite, talent explodes, and corporate performance skyrockets!

Having a theory that the human brain can focus only on three things at a time, here are three powerful trust builders:

  1. Purpose: Every employee wants to know why what they do is important and meaningful. Leadership builds trust by communicating and reinforcing corporate, team, and individual purpose not just through a corporate vision statement neatly framed and displayed on the employee bulletin board, but through dialogue, coaching, performance feedback, decision- making and planning.
  2. Consistency: Leaders who are inconsistent breed confusion and uncertainty. We build trust by being who we say we are, and doing what we said we would do. We live the values that drive the purpose of the organization. It doesn’t mean we treat everyone the same. It does mean that we are consistent in listening and responding in helpful ways.
  3. Connect: Policies and systems will never build trust. They provide structure. Leaders build trust when they truly connect with an employee. This is accomplished by asking questions, listening to employees, and helping employees to succeed. There will always be a level of vulnerability in building trust, so leaders need to be open and willing to share their strengths and weaknesses, as well as their hopes and fears with employees.

Ultimately, trust is about reliance and confidence in something good. When leaders achieve that, they spread hope, unleash talent, and fully engage employees. It all starts with a solid foundation!

How to Build Trust In The Workplace?

As a Manager or Leader in an organization, you can’t just say you “trust” a particular employee or team, you need to show that you go through the actions you take on a daily basis. You can help build trust in the workplace by:

  • Encouraging staff to “crush” their day to day responsibilities
  • Allowing teams to make decisions they feel is best for the company
  • Being open and transparent on all decisions
  • Refrain from treating anyone or any team more favorably than another
  • Call out success to an entire team when it is warranted

Finally, understand your employees’ expectations of you–and you of them. It is easy for a lack of trust to develop when an employee feels as if an employer has unrealistic expectations, and has set the bar unattainably high, resulting in consistent failure.

How to Rebuild Trust In The Workplace?

It is critical to maintain trust with one another throughout the workplace once you have created it. If, however, you find yourself in a situation where you have lost the trust of your employees, regaining their trust back is essential in your success. The most important thing to do in order to rebuild trust is to take ownership of your mistake. Make clear that you understand why your employees have lost trust in you and acknowledge the mistakes you made. After you have got past the acknowledgement phase, show how you are going to rectify the situation to ensure it won’t happen again in the future. Don’t rush the process, give your staff time and you will regain their trust.

Contact J.L. Nick & Associates for all your Human Resource Consulting Needs