A manager-employee trust gap has a ripple effect which ultimately leads to employees leaving your company. The number of disengaged employees in the U.S is 70%. Why is this? Employees who are less trusted by their managers exert less effort and are less productive.
It goes without saying that building trust with employees is beneficial for you, your business, and your employees.
But how do you build trust with employees? Keep reading for seven relationship-building strategies to get you started.
1. Be a Good Example
As a leader, you need to ensure that you lead by example and that you don’t have a hypocritical leading style based on ‘do what I say, not what I do.’ Employees won’t put their trust in someone whose actions do not match their words.
If you try to foster a culture of trust in the business, the first step is setting the standards and then following them yourself.
The most powerful type of leader is one that inspires employees to follow in their footsteps, rather than scare employees into doing things. You need to maintain moral standards and live by the rules that you set before you can expect others to do the same.
2. Encourage Open Communication
For trust to exist in any relationship, be it professional or personal, there needs to be transparent, honest, and open communication. Encouraging clear communication reduces the risk of miscommunication and misunderstandings and helps employees to feel as if their opinions are valued and appreciated.
It’s important that team members and team leaders feel safe to communicate their concerns, ideas, and opinions.
Foster trust in your employees by creating open lines of communication. There should be multiple channels and ways in which your employees can communicate with you and other team leaders. Do regular checkups and informal meetings and events to cultivate a culture of communication.
3. Speak Less, Listen More
This is an important follow-on and is a massive factor of healthy communication that will foster trust in employees. You need to treat your employees as individuals, respecting their opinions and ideas.
So, how to build trust with employees? Listen more than you speak. When employees voice their thoughts, genuinely listen. Ask your employees questions and encourage them to speak their minds.
As you create a habit of this, employees will begin to trust you more and will become more comfortable with voicing their viewpoints and ideas.
4. Give Trust to Get Trust
You can’t expect your employees to willingly put their trust in you unless you put your trust in them. As their leader, it’s up to you to make the first step. You can empower your employees to trust you by showing that you trust them.
You can do this by encouraging professional development and granting them autonomy. Allow your employees some independence when it comes to decision-making and problem-solving. Give them extra responsibilities, such as handling a big client meeting or taking the lead on a presentation.
Leaders who micro-manage employees are telling their staff that they don’t trust them. Step back and trust your employees to do the job that you hired them to do. They will respond extremely well to this.
5. Ask for Feedback and Then Act on It
If you want to show your employees that you are listening and that you care about what they think, ask for feedback and then actually respond to it.
When employees feel as if they’re just another cog in the machine, that their opinions aren’t valued, and that their manager does not care about them, they won’t trust you.
Employees need a voice in their company. So give them one. Employees should be able to give feedback on a continuous basis. You can create a feedback channel to support this.
Once you gather feedback, analyze the results for repeated issues or areas in your business strategy that could use improvement. Don’t ask for feedback and not do anything about it, it’s disingenuous and makes you untrustworthy. This is a fantastic way to ensure employee retention.
6. Show Your Employees Appreciation
Are you concerned that you have a high employee turnover rate? First of all, learn how to calculate turnover. Secondly, make sure your employees feel appreciated because it’s likely a big reason they’re leaving your organization.
A salary or hourly wage is not appreciation — it’s an exchange. If you want to focus on building trust with your employees, go the extra mile to demonstrate your appreciation.
You can do this by verbally praising them when something has been done well, send thank you messages and give out tangible bonuses.
7. Create a Culture of Trust
Relationship building with employees is not something that happens overnight. If you want to retain employees long term, you need to avoid disingenuous quick-fixes and develop a culture of trust.
Your business culture should revolve around trust. This includes all of the above elements weaved into the structure, strategy, and day-to-day runnings of your organization.
Organic trust-building activities should form a part of your interactions with colleagues and employees and interpersonal relationships should be encouraged.
Are You Equipped to Build Trust With Employees?
While reading this have you noticed where you and your organization could make improvements in order to build trust with employees? It’s important to be committed to a culture of trust to reduce employee turnover rate and boost productivity in the workplace. What are you waiting for? Start with these relationship-building strategies today.
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