6 Ways to Build Trust with your Employees

How trustworthy you are can have a big impact on the overall success of your business. Not only do your customers need to trust you, but so do your employees.

Your employees need to be believe in one another and know that everyone is there for them. Without this trust, their work will suffer in terms of communication, performance, and teamwork.

Boosting trust levels between you and your employees as well as among the employees can lead to increased employee happiness which leads to greater customer success.

At the end of the day, your employees are the lifeblood of your business, treat them right, and they will take care of your business.

Here are 7 ways you can build trust in your workplace.

Be honest and transparent

You must be honest and transparent with your employees. Even when you’re worried about giving some news they might not want to hear. It’s better to tell them the trust rather than what you think they want to hear.

Share as much detail about the state of your business with your employees. They can take it. The more you hold back, the more likely it is that rumour and gossip will take over.

The type of information you want to share will include the financial situation, competitor analysis, management meeting notes etc.

The more you share, the more you demonstrate to your employees that you are not trying to hide anything. Even the hint that you are hiding something can destroy any trust your employees had for you.

Learn to listen

Give your employees the opportunity to give feedback on how the business is doing. Let them suggest changes and ask questions about the business.

Learning to actively listen, and providing a valid response, is a great way to bring employees more into the fold. They will feel like they are on the inside of the business, rather than just a cog in a machine.

Treat everyone equally

Playing favourites with employees is a definite way to lose the trust of everyone who isn’t part of the “in crowd”.

It is really obvious to everyone else if you show favouritism to a select few. Some examples of favourtism include:

  • Giving them some important information before others in the same role
  • Letting them cherry pick tasks before others get a chance
  • Singling them out for inclusion in activities

Any time you do show favouritism, you are probably doing much more harm to your level of trust than is worth while.

Use body language

There are some simple things you can do with body language to help you build trust with your employees:

  • Maintain eye contact: Don’t look around when talking with your employees. Show them that they have your attention by looking them in the eyes.
  • Control you hands: Keep your twirling thumbs and fidgety hands in check. Any excessive hand gestures you make can give off the impression that you’re nervous. If they think you’re nervous, they will be nervous too. If they think you are calm and comfortable, then they will be more likely to feel that way too.
  • Smile: A simple smile can do miracles at putting your employees at ease. Flash your teeth at the start of the interaction to help relax them and smooth into the conversation.
  • Mirroring: Use empathy to reflect back the emotions relevant to the conversation. Sympathy, understanding, joy. Whatever the conversation is about, you can express it through your face and body to show that you are listening and caring.

Hold yourself responsible

When something goes wrong. Take responsibility. Don’t start a witch hunt to find someone to blame. The fault is yours fundamentally. So take it on the chin like a champ.

Then, help everyone involved learn from it so it is less likely to happen again.

When your employees see that you have their back, they know that they can come to you with problems. Too often, employees can see a problem looming over the horizon, but stay quiet because they don’t want to be the messenger that gets the punishment.

Credit where credit is due

Make sure that when things go well that you give credit to those involved. You can do this in many ways, but simply making sure everyone involved knows you appreciate what they have done for the business.

Hogging the glory is no way to earn the trust of your employees. When they do the work, they deserve to know you are grateful to them.

How do you build trust in your business?

Do you have any stories or tools you apply to help build and maintain trust with your employees?