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How to Gain (or Win Back) Employee Trust

Win employee trust to boost employee engagementEmployee trust is one essential part of a healthy and growing workplace. Employees thrive in an environment where they feel appreciated and respected for their hard work. Trust is a delicate relationship and can be grown or damaged by the actions of employers and supervisors. When intact, trust can create a powerful connection between an employee and there employer. Read on to learn more about how to grow trust among your employees.

 

Get to Know Employees

First and foremost, you need to give trust to build trust. This can be accomplished by getting to know the people on your team, as well as letting them get to know you. Talk! Find common ground with each individual employee, such as favorite sports teams, a shared home town or movies you both like. Connections are easily built by creating regular team lunches, where everyone can get together and have open conversation. Most importantly, get to know your employees by visiting each department within the business. Give help where it's needed.  Employees feel like they're part of a team when they know that the boss values every role in the business. No job is too small.

Free Employee Engagement Checklist

 

Be the Boss and an Employee 

While you may be in a position of power and should take on the role of leadership, you're also a part of the team and should treat your employees as equals. Your employees are not going to be impressed by your power, but how you wield it. In fact, a person who rises up the ladder is at risk of losing the trust of their former peers. To overcome this barrier, demonstrate to employees that you are all working together toward a common goal. Roll up your sleeves. Engage and empower your employees by doing your best to communicate with them and entrust them to accomplish important tasks.

 

Create an Open Atmosphere 

It's hard to build connections if people are hesitant to open up and express themselves honestly. Communication is key to success and employees should feel comfortable talking with one another and seeking help if needed. Open and direct communication about company culture, financials, and strategy not only fosters trust, but also empowers employees to help the company achieve its goals. 

 

Encourage Rather than Demand 

Rather than micromanaging and demanding tasks to be completed, find areas of opportunity to encourage employees to succeed. While handing out orders won't gain you trust, encouraging and coaching employees toward the goal not only builds trust but is an investment in the development of your staff. For managers, develop your ability to delegate (while granting as much autonomy as possible). Make clear your expectations performance measurements, to maximize success. Improved employee skills will only improve your business, causing all boats to rise. 

 

Leaders Should Accept Responsibility

Remember, all employees are part of team no matter their rank. When a mistake is made, leaders should take responsibility rather than become defensive and pass blame on employees. Defensiveness and blame is a quick way to damage trust.

When we give recognize employees for a job well done, however, employees are more likely to put in extra effort to see the company succeed. Overall, you'll be improving morale in the workplace and building trust.

 

Grow with Your Employees

It's hard to gain employee trust when they believe they know more about the business than you do. You should grow as your business does and work together with employees to learn and implement new strategies. Even if you have a good relationship with your employees, they will not trust a leader who doesn't take the time to learn and assist employees when needed. Attend training sessions and develop new and existing skills alongside your employees. Be curious and humble. Be willing to learn.  

 

Learn More

It's powerful to know what your employees think! You can identify problems like poor supervision, communication breakdown, and mounting plans to leave your company before expensive turnover affects your business.
 
Use this checklist for a quick read on your employee engagement. 
 
Download FREE Employee Engagement Checklist

 

Tags: Employee Retention, Employee Trust, Employee Engagement Ideas

Leila Zayed
As VP of Best Companies Group, Leila has established Best Places to Work programs, given talks on employee engagement topics all over the U.S., and launched our employee survey brand, Best Employee Surveys. Before joining Best Companies Group, Leila had been a publisher at Mainebiz, a research analyst at several great firms, and an avid gardener. (She can still be found digging in the dirt most mornings before the office opens.) She received her training in social research from the University of Vermont. Leila resides in Portland, Maine with her son, Henry, their cat, Phoenix, and their flock of six pampered suburban chickens.
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