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5 Simple Ways to Increase Trust with Your Employees

One of the issues that comes up when I conduct employee engagement surveys among some clients is a lack of trust with senior leadership. Employees often feel as if they do not know everything that is going on and that leadership keeps information quiet and shares little. In some cases this has been quite accurate; in others it is a perception of employees (but we all know perception becomes reality).  Increasing trust leads to many positive outcomes, including:

  • Retention of employees
  • Increased participation and engagement in the business
  • Improved productivity and efficiencies
  • Increased revenues
  • Improved customer service

Here are five (5) simple ways you can begin to build trust with your employees – starting today:

  • Communicate more frequently. Regularly communicate with your employees about what is going on within the organization via email, face-to-face all staff/all hands meetings, via a company portal, etc.  Share the challenges and the successes. Ask for input on strategy. Share the company vision. You’ll find that employees have some valuable information to share themselves. Get their input and utilize that information.
  • Learn about how the work gets done. Too often as leaders we think we know how to improve how the work gets done – we immediately jump into changing processes or procedures to meet revenue goals, work with fewer resources, etc.  However, our employees are the ones actually doing the day-to-day work of the business. Learn how they work before you immediately propose changes to processes. You might find they have already found work-arounds to be more effective and efficient in their work.
  • Understand how leadership decisions affect down the line. Don’t make decisions without understanding the impact throughout the organization. Too often leaders make decision “in a bubble” without understanding how the decision will affect the work being done by employees. By understanding how employees get their work done and how the organization supports (or does not support) their efforts, better decisions can be made that benefit both the business overall and the individual employees who work to make the business a success.
  • Provide opportunities for growth. If you want to retain the best employees, provide them opportunities to learn and grow within the business. Provide them the ability to work throughout the organization – in a variety of functional areas – so they develop an understanding of the business as a whole. You’ll begin to identify your high potential employees!
  • Build relationships. Get out of your office regularly and visit your employees. Get to know them – what are their interests, their challenges, their goals, etc. You need to build relationships with employees if they are going to trust you.  We trust those individuals with whom we have a positive relationship.

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