Managers know that, as team leaders, the cohesion of their team and the productivity of their employees are partially dependent on how much employees trust their superiors. Is their manager making good decisions for the team? Are they concerned with each team member individually? Are they helping their employees to develop professionally?
Building trust with your team can be one of the most difficult tasks to achieve in the office space. The notion of “it’s a dog eat dog world out there” hasn’t quite left our way of thinking, and as employees look at managers and team members, how can they be led to trusting them instead of favoring the safety of fending for themselves?
- Delegate. This can be an especially difficult step for employers. The mentality often is, “Well, if I want it done right, I’ll just have to do it myself.” And employees notice that their managers are hunkered down in their offices at all hours, trying to accomplish the tasks of five men. First, this probably suggests to employees that you’re “too busy” to be bothered with much else and effectively sends the idea of an “open-door policy” out the window. Secondly, as a manager, if you don’t have a team you can trust to take on the tasks that are important to you and the company, it might be time to reassess your team members. Ultimately, shouldn’t it be the goal to have employees who are able to cover for you, do what you do, and do it in a manner you would approve of? Giving your trust will help to gain trust.
- Transparency. The balance to strike with transparency is a difficult one. While you probably won’t share all of the company’s financials with every employee in an effort to make them feel more involved in the company, there are most likely numerous areas where you simply could be giving your employees more information than you are. An easy place to begin is by making sure you are adequately relaying your company’s vision and values to your employees, and doing so often. The consulting firm TTG Consulting makes the point that, “by communicating the organization’s vision, management defines where it’s going. By communicating its values, the methods for getting there are established.” This can also be accomplished by keeping employees in the loop as things develop within the company. Can you reveal a little more about your current projects and how it will affect the company? Can you divulge information from supervisor meetings about new directions the company might be going? Vague or little communication leaves much to conjecture and gossip and breeds distrust in the workplace.
- Share the good and the bad. When sharing information with your employees that might help them feel more involved in the minutiae of the company, don’t only share what could be chalked up to wins, or great things, or items to be celebrated. Employees will feel more appreciated and like owners in the company if they are aware of the negative going on in the company as well as the positive. Divulging the good as well as the bad helps an employee understand the entirety of the company and also reinforces the company’s vision. This can be used as a motivational tool to help employees understand how their job could directly influence the upward climb of the company.
Just remember, trust is built over time. Employees will appreciate consistent efforts over time to gain their trust.
Do you garner your team’s trust? Explain how in the comments!
IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by TerryJohnston