Trust is the basis of all social relationships, whatever the context. Every company should seek to foster trust in the workplace because it forges team cohesion, creates a peaceful environment between management and employees, and builds employee loyalty and investment. A win-win-win that you can obtain with well thought-out HR strategies.
Types of Trust
Trust in the workplace is multi-faceted, which makes it that much more difficult to build. Employees must see trust at every level of the company. What types of trust are essential to an employee’s well-being?
- Trust in your company: nurtured by the values conveyed by your company, its national or international reputation, history or finances.
- Trust in your superiors: built using management techniques that are kind and respectful of your colleagues.
- Trust in colleagues: leads to harmonious collaboration between employees and the satisfaction of working together.
- Trust in yourself: this stems in part from the previous three kinds of trust. Employees learn to trust themselves by working in a stimulating and reliable professional environment.
9 Ways to Build Lasting Trust
1- Stay Accessible
Don’t shut yourself away in a ivory tower, directing your employees from afar like pawns. Proximity is the basis for building trust. Go see your employees, take the time to have coffee with them and discuss topics unrelated to the workplace. Introduce a morning round for managers so that they greet their teams before starting the work day. You can also establish monthly HR Office Hours for employees with questions about career development.
2- Be Transparent
Whether it’s disappointing performance, contracts won or bonuses awarded, communicate objectively about what’s happening at the company. If you try to conceal or minimize your company’s setbacks, you run the risk of arousing mistrust among your employees. Because let’s face it, news travels fast in a company. And gossip is always detrimental to a positive workplace environment.
3- Don’t Micromanage
Whether you’re a team leader or a supervisor, are you one of those people who doesn’t give your team a second to breathe, always watching them and following their work closely? If so, it’s time to get rid of this bad habit that shows you doubt their competence. Give them the opportunity to prove their worth, work independently and build self-confidence. This is, after all, the essence of successful collaboration in a company, and you won’t be disappointed.
4- Show Your Satisfaction
From simple thank-yous to extra-salary benefits, workplace recognition has the power to boost employee trust, productivity and company revenue. If you’re looking for an effective strategy, choose Swibeco. In addition to permanent discounts on a wide range of brands, their Benefits solutions also allow you to reward your employees with Swipoints, which are tax-free credits for all those special occasions like passing a professional exam, winning a contract with an important client, etc. Show that you also care about the important moments in your employees’ lives by giving them employee benefits for their birthdays or Christmas.
5- Give Constructive Criticism
It’s working with people, not machines, that makes your job so rich. But to err is human, and not necessarily a sign of incompetence. An employee who has made a mistake doesn’t deserve to be chastised. Instead, analyze why it happened with the employee. Is it a lack of training or poor organization? Provide the right solutions (coaching, mentoring, etc.) to help them gain confidence.
6- Treat Employees Fairly
Your employees will trust you if you’re fair to each and every one of them. No more preferential treatment, favoritism or lenient rewards. Make sure that men and women are paid equally and open new positions to all employees so that everyone has a chance for internal mobility. Being fair will give your decisions legitimacy.
7- Acknowledge Your Mistakes
Humility is the best remedy for lack of trust. When you acknowledge your mistakes, you show your colleagues that you’re capable of self-criticism and questioning your choices in order to make changes. They’ll know that they’re working with reliable managers who can bounce back and innovate to solve problems.
8- Keep Your Word
When you announce something to your employees, you must act on it. Have you announced disciplinary action for an employee for unacceptable behavior towards colleagues? Make sure that you follow through in order to restore peace in the workplace. Are you allowing a budget extension for a project? Make sure that your words are followed by action, or you’ll get your teams into trouble.
9- Set an Example
Finally, you can only win the trust of your colleagues if you set an example. As psychologist Laurent Karsenty reminds us, trust is based on your empathy and honesty. For trust to permeate all levels of the company, all you need to do is become a role model that employees will respect and value.