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You did not go into business to be a human resource professional. Fortunately for you, we did!

Trust; How does it Work at Work?

August 23, 2013 at 8:21 pm

Crossing out Lies and writing Truth on a blackboard.

We’ve all heard that line about trust – “it takes years to earn, but only seconds to break.”  Or maybe this one – “trust is like an eraser; it gets smaller and smaller after every mistake.”  And at work it’s no different.  Building and maintaining trust between employees and management is essential to a business’s success.

Now maybe you are thinking that you have a sales team, and your customers are happy, so why does this matter?  Yeah, you admit that if there isn’t trust employees may be unhappy, but the economy is still in recovery so they aren’t going anywhere.  Will this really affect your bottom line?

YES!  Think about it.  As a business you are selling something, it may be a machine, or a service, or Tupperware, but at the end of the day your employees need to trust management in order to believe in the business.   And if they don’t believe in the business, you’ve lost your best sales opportunity.   Without trust, people give up on relationships and leave organizations; cynicism reigns, progress grinds to a halt, and self-interest trumps the common good. Don’t let that happen in your business!

But if your employees trust in their managers and believe in the business, they are going to work harder and put more into your business.  When they have a great new idea, they are going to want to share it.  When they see something out of line, they are going to report it.  They are part of the team and want it to succeed.  And the economy is improving; the unemployment rate fell to 7.4 percent in July, and your unhappy employees may not have to stick around much longer.

So what do you do?  How to you build trust and keep trust at work?  Here are a few quick tips that will help you build up trust with your employees, and hopefully keep them from turning in their resignation letter as well.

Be Connected.  Managers who are connected earn trust by showing interest in others, asking for input, listening to their employees, showing empathy, praising others’ efforts, and sharing about themselves.

Be Consistent.  Consistently doing what you say you’ll do builds trust over time – it can’t be something you do only occasionally. Keeping commitments must be the essence of your behavior, in all relationships at work.  Breaking a commitment is also one of the fastest ways to tear down trust.

Be Accountable. When you acknowledge your mistakes as well as successes, employees see you as credible and will follow your lead. You can encourage honest dialogue and foster accountability by building in processes that become part of the culture, such as an evaluation of every project (positives, negatives, things to change) or a status report and next steps in each meeting agenda (tracking deadlines and milestones).


Categories: Human Resource Consulting.