Employee motivation is largely based on trust.
When employees trust one another, they have more confidence in the decisions being made around them and in their own work. A foundation of trust is particularly essential during difficult times, when doubt and indecision can creep into people’s thought processes.
Below are a few ways you can build more trust among your employees.
Align words and actions
A company’s culture starts from the top down, and trust is a vital part of any company’s culture. Therefore, it’s essential for managers to set a good example by building trust between themselves and their staff members.
Aligning what you say with what you do is an essential pillar for developing trust with staff members and for the company itself. Workers often say the connection (or lack of connection) between words and actions have the most effect on their view of an organization. When a leader’s words are detached from their actions, workers are less likely to be engaged and less likely to trust each other.
Avoid brutal, unfiltered honesty
While honesty is a major part of trust, brutal honesty can erode a person’s confidence, making them less likely to share their own thoughts and ideas in the future. People feel safe to express themselves when they trust others will be receptive to their thoughts, opinions, and point of view.
Sometimes people are brutally honest because they overestimate the value of an apology. Saying you’re sorry for being too honest can resolve a conflict, but it is rarely enough to completely restore trust to the relationship.
Encourage respectful communication
Too many accidents and mistakes in the workplace are caused by a simple lack of communication, and communication breakdowns are often the result of a lack of trust between the people involved.
Perhaps someone didn’t communicate because they were worried that bringing up an issue might make them look ignorant or overly concerned. Essentially, they didn’t trust their words would be well received.
It’s up to company leaders to create an environment where all communication is encouraged. Deemphasizing personal blame and valuing the contributions of all employees can go a long way in creating this kind of environment.
Know your subject matter
It’s hard to place trust in someone when they clearly don’t know what they are talking about. Avoid “winging it” when you hold meetings, letting your technical knowledge lapse or giving employee feedback based on wrong or outdated information.
Your employees don’t expect you to know everything, and they don’t expect you to be right all of the time. They do, however, expect you to be able to admit when you don’t know something and when you are wrong.
As stated above, you should avoid being brutally honest and divulging every mistake or bit of ignorance. Otherwise, you risk being seen as incompetent and losing employee trust.
At SSI, we help managers at our client companies achieve their goals through managed services and custom staffing solutions. Please contact us today to find out how we can be of assistance to your organization.