Trust in the workplace is extremely important. It improves productivity, enhances collaboration, teamwork, creativity, passion…and more! But here’s the problem: One in three employees don’t trust their employers. Building trust with employees is crucial for your small business to be the best it can be. So, how do you go about doing that? It takes a commitment to create a culture of trust through communication, autonomy, and appreciation.
Keep reading for seven tips to build employee trust for a successful business.
1. Lead By Example
As an employer, boss, or leader, you should maintain moral standards and set an example. You cannot expect employees to trust someone who acts in antithesis to what they say, or in conflict with the company’s ethos.
Employees trust ethical leaders who walk the walk, abide by the rules that they set and hold themselves accountable as much as they hold their employees accountable.
When you set certain standards for your employees, you need to show them that you follow those standards too. A hypocrite or ‘do as I say, not as I do’ employer is untrustworthy.
2. Establish a Culture of Trust
Establishing a culture of trust is very much dependent on leading by example as a foundation. However, there are more aspects that you can work on as a company to ensure that the work culture you create is one where employee relationships are respected.
Of course, you can boost this with team-building and trust-building activities, but ultimately creating a culture of trust is the long game, not a quick fix. Interpersonal relationships should be an important feature of your mission statements and brand values.
Advocate for inclusivity, organization decision-making, and events where employees can bond with you and each other.
3. Encourage Open Communication
As with any healthy relationship based on trust, communication is as important as ever. And while your employees may not be your spouse, open lines of communication are just as important.
Employees are unlikely to trust you or each other if they don’t feel comfortable communicating their ideas, desires, discomforts, and more. There should be clear communication channels and you as a leader should listen more than you speak to show that you value hearing your employee’s opinions.
Both you and your employees should understand exactly what you expect from one another and how to achieve it so that you don’t find yourself in a sticky situation due to miscommunication.
4. Solicit and Act on Feedback
Communication only works to foster trust when all parties feel heard. So, how do you make sure your employees know that you’re listening to them? You should encourage regular evaluations and feedback — and then act on it.
There should be an employee feedback framework that allows employees to express their concerns, needs, or wants. They should be able to provide feedback at any time, rather than waiting for a specific time when the problem or idea may have already passed.
When you get feedback, act on it. Don’t ignore a problem that continually crops up or a repeated issue that an employee has mentioned many times. When your employees see that you are responding to them and their input is valued, you create a culture of trust.
5. Show Appreciation Beyond a Pay Check
In order to build trust with your employees, you need to show them appreciation beyond their salary. Paying them is something you have to do. It doesn’t demonstrate that you value and appreciate an employee’s work.
Make an effort to verbalize your appreciation with recognition in real-time. Send thank-you messages, give verbal praises, or introduce a rewards program.
This everyday appreciation reminds your employees that you recognize their hard work and value them, creating a trusting relationship.
6. Provide Employee Benefits
It goes without saying that employee benefits and workers’ compensation insurance are an imperative part of building trust with employees. If you commit to doing the bare minimum for them, they’re unlikely to trust you or put in more than their bare minimum, too.
When you provide great employee benefits, you show your employees that you value them as human beings, not simply a staff member or worker. It shows that you want the best for them, outside and inside of work. This care really helps to build trust between employees and their employers.
7. Ellicit Trust by Giving Trust
You know how the old saying goes: You can’t get what you don’t give. And it definitely takes two to tango when it comes to building a trusting relationship with your employees. How can you expect employees to trust you if you don’t show that you trust them?
Employer employees to trust you by taking the first step. You can do this by encouraging professional development and making space for autonomy. Hand out extra responsibilities and allow independent decision making.
Stepping back and trusting your employees to do their best work without micromanaging them is an important way to develop trust.
Building Trust Takes Time and Effort
There’s no quick secret to fostering and building trust with your employees and in your company. Rather, it’s about being committed to making the effort required to create a culture of trust. You can do this by showing appreciation, offering benefits, encouraging open communication and leading by example.
Take the first, and one of the most important steps for fostering trust with your employees by securing workers’ compensation insurance. Get a quote and get protected today!