How to gain the trust of your employees

Posted: 19th December 2016 09:41

Forget about the global economic fallout of Trump and Brexit –  the biggest business challenge of 2017 is dealing with recent revelations about the disastrous state of workplace relationships.

According to Edelman’s annual Trust Barometer survey, one in three employees don’t trust their boss – and it's bad news for productivity and engagement.

If you style yourself as a challenging and inspiring leader, as you should, then the last thing you want is to find yourself in charge of a team that has no interest in listening to you.

You need to make staff trust you, which – like most rules for business success – is much easier said than done.
To help you get started, we’re sharing a few basic tactics for improving your workplace relationships. Take a look.

Listen to feedback
Getting feedback from your employees has two key stages. First, you need to actually let them give you their frank opinions – and meetings or brainstorming sessions aren’t going to cut it. Use anonymous questback surveys to get an honest snapshot of their thoughts.

Secondly, put this feedback and data to good use. Openly acknowledge the problems raised and implement solutions to fix them.

Be honest
Whispers and rumours spread like wildfire through an office, and can leave people feeling worried or out of the loop.

Be honest about everything that’s going on with the business – both challenges and failures – to keep everyone feeling like a valued member of the team. Whether it’s weekly email updates or monthly meetings, constant and open communication is essential.

Show accountability
Don’t let playing the blame game become the norm in your office. Instead, build accountability into your workplace’s processes and strategy.

Implement targets for individuals and teams, create time for evaluations at the completion of every project or major task and make sure you’re included in them. Own up to your personal shortcomings and it’ll make it easier for everyone else to do so too.

Have individual meetings
Building a strong team through group meetings and collaborative working is great for overall morale, but you shouldn’t skip out on regular one-to-one meetings either.

Besides giving both of you a chance to air concerns and talk through projects – making each employee feel recognised and important – getting to know your staff better will allow you to push and develop their skills.

Be approachable
No one’s going to trust you if you aren’t approachable. As well focusing on making wider changes to your office to improve workplace relationships, put time and effort into boosting your own people skills.

Be friendly, communicate properly and, no matter how busy you are, always be willing to make time for your employees.

It takes patience to build a trusting relationship between yourself and your staff, but follow our five steps and you’ll soon be the proud leader of a strong, productive team.