The key to building trust with your staff … trust them

Gaining trust in any relationship is always difficult. But, forgive me if I sound a little trite, surely the key to building trust with your staff is simple, once you have the basics right, you need to put your trust in your staff.

“All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.”
― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

I know that this isn’t easy (and a lot will depend on your personality type) but if I put an alternative spin on the topic you may feel differently:
How about if I had titled this blog: Less than half of employees trust senior management or High trust organisations are nearly 300% more profitable than low trust organisations? There is much research out there showing the impact that trust can have on the bottom line – and if you think about it the equation TRUST = SPEED = PROFIT makes all sorts of economic sense.

“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”
― Ernest Hemingway

So we have established that you first need to trust your staff but what are the other basics that you will also need in place? We asked a number of business leaders and professionals for their feedback and experiences on building trust with staff and as you can imagine there were some strong congruencies.
Here follows a list of basic factors that the group felt needed to be in place for trust to be given to the person who is leading.

Your communication

  •  Demonstrate patience. Actively listen to what staff have to say and show that you have listened by responding or acting on the feedback. Tell them what you are planning to do or explain why you can’t.
  • Be mindful. Consider the needs of others and show an interest in their work related problems. Remember also to provide recognition for their achievements.
  • Be consistent. Keep your promises and show support for business policies by acting with transparency and consistency.
  • Be transparent. Share as much relevant information as possible and ensure that you communicate objectives with total clarity.

Your team

  • Invest time in recruiting the right people in the first place.
  • Then spend time getting to know people as individuals – this will allow you to target your communications, and delegate accordingly.
  • Instil this belief in your managers so that these behaviours are filtered down the organisation.

Your self

  • Be honest and fair. Treat people how you would like to be treated.
  • Show self-awareness. Ensure that you are aware of your self, your values and beliefs and consider how these will impact on others.
  • Be a role model. Demonstrate behaviours you would like your managers and colleagues to replicate.

The outcomes

Once you, as a leader, have demonstrated you are worthy of trust and when staff experience that trust, they will, in turn, give much more trust, commitment, creativity, loyalty, productivity and general goodwill.

Remember that people leave manager’s not organisations! If they don’t like the person who’s managing them, they are more likely to disengage. The research backs this up; actively disengaged employees seem especially disenchanted with their connection with their manager: 80% strongly disagree that their relationship with their manager is one of their strongest personal relationships, compared to 15% of engaged employees (Steve Crabtree. Getting Personal in the Workplace, The Gallup Management Journal. 2004).

So get the basics right, put your trust in your staff and then hopefully you will be rewarded with their trust and much more besides.

For more on engaging employees and gaining insight and self awareness into managerial skill set contact us, on 01255 850051.