Trust is one of the most important features in leadership competencies that have obvious effects on the success of a business. Today’s leaders must empower employees through trust and be quick to identify team trust issues and begin the process of rebuilding trust. Focusing on building and nurturing trust is one of the most critical characteristics of a leader. Workplace trust has to be developed and nourished, either from employees or trust from customers. It is the foundational principle that holds respect, motivation, and dignity at work. This not only includes trust among co-workers but also trust on product quality, organizational values, loyalty, and customer service. Trust among employees and colleagues in the workplace environment can lead to efficiency, motivation, and effectiveness. It can take weeks, months, or even years for a leader to build trust among employees and, unfortunately, it only takes one misstep or action contrary to the leader’s or organization’s stated values to lose all the trust you worked so hard to earn.
It doesn’t matter if you’re repairing a problem or want to build a strong foundation, here’s how to get people to believe in you, your company, and each other.
There are two things you must pay special attention to:
- Culture. Specifically, a culture of openness and transparency. People need to be unafraid to say what’s necessary and feel that you heard them. Once you destroy culture, you can’t fix it. Remember, people will work long and hard to solve problems. But they will kill themselves to solve problems they care about.
- Executive trust. Everyone hates a micromanager. You hired managers, let them lead. Give them specific, measurable goals and have your people achieve them independently. Show that you believe they can make the right decisions. But make sure your execs aren’t in over their head. Make sure people trust them.
Work trust, once destroyed, is difficult to regain. Trust in your work organization and in your coworkers is fundamental to your happiness and success at work. This is because trust is the basis of the work culture of a successful company. In a work culture that encourages transparent communication, thoughtful risk, experimentation, employee motivation, goal achievement, employee empowerment, and employee engagement, work trust is a major issue. In any sort of conflict, one should observe, understand and eliminate the reasons for distrust, as it is one of the main reasons for conflict in workplace.
Admitting the problem and letting employees know you’re aware is the first step to a healthier culture. Employees aren’t always willing to be the first to admit there’s a problem. They want leadership to speak up first, he adds. Communicate to your team that you want to make things better and seek their feedback in doing so. Let people know you are aware that your actions have eroded the trust of the team, and you are working hard to rebuild it. Ask people for honest feedback on which actions you are taking are working well for the team, and what people think you could do differently to be an even stronger leader. Telling the truth is so easy and obvious to say, but it is much harder to do on a daily basis. Why? The reason it’s difficult to gain points for trustworthiness by telling the truth is that the only time you gain points for telling the truth is when it costs you something to do so. Honestly communicating bad news, and sharing a vision and path to success, is one of the fastest ways to rebuild trust.
Workplace distrust can be minimized by increasing communication among co-workers, maintaining teams and promoting respect, promoting reliability on work performed by others and avoiding gossips. Often miscommunication is one of the leading reasons why distrust abides among people. Further increase in distrust often leads to a barrier in communication among co-workers. The best way to rebuild trust is to take part in uncomfortable conversations. This can be done by talking specifically and stating your positive and intentions of rebuilding the trust. The initial steps can be, taking responsibility for your words and actions. Also, non-verbal communication lays deep impact on the minds of others. Maintaining a welcoming body posture is also important while resolving the conflict and trying to utilize it to be constructive for the organization.
How about workplace environment
In a workplace environment, people notice everything. Even casual and incurious behavior is observed by colleagues. Colleagues and employees should give respect to each other’s ideas, observations, feedback and most importantly work of other colleagues and employees, and this will ultimately strengthen the bond of trust amongst them. People find it easier to trust you when you are transparent. When you have the ability to say, “I don’t know the answer,” or, “I might be wrong,” or, “I made a mistake and I am glad you covered for me,” people know that you are human. People who have a high need to defend what they did wrong instead of admitting their mistake are not trusted.
Great leaders do not have favorites. They hold all team members equally accountable to high-performance standards. When leaders do this well, there will be days when not every member of the team is happy with them and their decisions. Holding all team members equally accountable means that no employee perceives the leader as having favorites on the team. This point is easy to say but extremely hard to consistently execute on a daily basis. When a leader treats all employees the same, there is a great chance of being trusted faster than a leader who has favorite employees and doesn’t pay enough attention to others.
Rebuilding trust will require patience, perseverance, and most of all, time. Raise your personal leadership standards, commit to them, and do right by your team. Leadership is nonexistent without the relationships you build with your employees. Without trust, you have no followers. And without followers, there is no leader. A trusting workplace affords employees a comfortable environment for open communication, risk-taking, innovation, and achievement. A trusting workplace ensures managers and coworkers that discretionary energy is expended to serve the overall good of the organization. Therefore, when you have trust in your company, your company will be successful.