The Importance of Creating a Culture of Trust in Your Workplace

If you want your company to run smoothly, function at peak performance, and be a place your team enjoys coming each day, you need to cultivate a culture of trust. Studies indicate that employees value trust more than salaries, benefits packages, days off, or even pay raises! Fostering trust among your team is the most critical thing you can do for the life, health, and vitality of your business. Here are four key steps to cultivate trust in your workplace.

Communicate

Communication cannot be emphasized enough. If there is one thing that builds up or breaks down trust, it’s communication. When communicating with employees, two areas often go overlooked by management: expectations and areas of growth.
Expectations.  Team members need clear expectations for their roles and projects under their direct management. Ensuring they know precisely what they are expected to do, what outcomes you will be looking for, and how they are expected to perform removes the guesswork from their job. Having clear expectations will also enable your employees to excel instead of question whether they’re completing the task at hand correctly.
Areas of Growth.  If you notice a skill that you’d like to see a team member grow in, positively communicate this and provide resources and opportunities for growth to occur. Never assume an employee will pick up on a deficiency and fix it themselves.

Recognize Talent

The success of any company rests squarely on employees’ shoulders. Every team member knows this, and it’s exponentially damaging when managers do not.
Recognizing talent within your company demonstrates that you value the contribution employees make. It shows your workforce that you know you cannot run your company singlehanded, and you need each one of them to make your product/service and brand excellent. Highlighting their contribution also displays the importance of teamwork and shows that you value input at every level, not just upper management.

Delegate

The more responsibility you can give your team members, the more they’ll come to see that you trust them to do their job well. Micromanaging is not only the cause of stress, but it creates discouragement, frustration, and, you guessed it, distrust.
Employees who feel like their managers or bosses don’t trust them are less apt to contribute top quality work, initiate projects, or innovate.
When you give them a job, it’s vital to recognize and communicate the fact that failure is how learning happens. If your team members are afraid to fail, they’ll be hesitant to try for fear of rebuttal. Delegation means you let your employees learn, make mistakes, and grow from them.

Be Open

As a business owner, you have tremendous sway in how your workplace functions. Your team will look to you to set the tone of your office culture. Because of this, you must start the trends you want to see among your company.
Be realistic with them on both a personal and professional level. If you’re having an overly difficult day, it’s okay to admit that when asked how you are. Those in management don’t need to appear superhuman – they need to be real. While you don’t want to share the intimate details of your life, admitting you’re having a rough day or you just experienced a failure of your own professionally relays the fact that you, too, are human. Employees need bosses and managers that can relate to them, not tower above them.
Just as important as it is to be transparent, it’s vital to show interest in your employees. If someone is having a particularly hard day, try to understand why, allow them extra room, or let them know you are there for them. If they are particularly excited about something in their personal or professional life, celebrate with them where appropriate.

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