You may have the best and brightest employees on your team – but none of your employees’ credentials will matter if your organization lacks trust. Considered one of the most important aspects of any organization, trust is essential in creating a work environment that empowers employees to achieve their greatest potential. According to Harvard Business Review, an extensive study revealed that people at “high-trust companies” report 50 percent higher productivity; 76 percent more engagement; and 40 percent less burnout. With statistics like these, there’s no denying that building trust amongst your team should be paramount. And, though organizations know that trust is key, many fail to incorporate trust in their onboarding and corporate development strategies.
Take note of these five steps for building an organization that encompasses trust:
1. Show that you trust your employees.
A large part of getting employees to trust you is by trusting them first. Trust is a two-way street in which both parties must feel comfortable in the relationship. The best way for leaders to do this is by exhibiting behaviors that inherently foster trust and improve performance at the same time. Some positive behaviors that accomplish this may include regularly recognizing an employee for their achievements or allowing employees to take on projects they find most interesting.
2. Demonstrate transparency.
One of the biggest barriers to trust is the lack of transparency or the open disclosure of information. Despite what some leaders may think, sharing of sensitive information with your employees shows that you trust your employees with the truth – even in the most challenging situations. Being open about important company-wide issues and keeping your employees informed of decisions shows that you trust them with the news that could be potentially damaging to your organization’s reputation.
3. Give up control (within reason).
Micromanaging every move your employees make will surely backfire and have the opposite of its intended effect. Part of building trust involves trusting that your employees will get their work done correctly and ethically. This means giving your employees a workload that is fair and fits within the scope of their roles. It also means being tolerant of errors and treating employee mistakes as an opportunity to facilitate learning.
4. Promote open communication.
Letting your employees know they can freely express their questions or concerns is a huge part of building trust. By keeping your employees well informed of your company’s goals, strategies, and tactics, you can promote openness and sharing of information. With so many communications channels available, like email, intranets and social media platforms, there’s no excuse not to establish regular communication with your employees. Uncertainty can lead to stress, so making sure employees aren’t in the dark about company news will increase their trust in you.
5. Invest in employee development.
It may not seem obvious, but offering your employees the opportunity to learn and advance their careers shows that you have confidence and trust in their leadership potential. Giving them the tools to reach their goals and develop new areas of expertise is one of the most impactful ways you can show trust in your employees and let them know that you’re willing to invest in their success. Plus, making the commitment to help employees grow their talents ultimately adds value to your organization!
A lack of trust in your workplace will undoubtedly result in lower productivity and decreased engagement – both things that can be extremely detrimental to your bottom line. By taking the steps above, you can be proactive about building trust within your organization to create a culture that retains your best employees for the long haul!
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