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Managing Employees

Multiply the Trust Factor Inside Your Organization

Career and Workplace Expert; Founder and President, Come Recommended
4 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

A new survey by Interaction Associates indicated nearly 60 percent of workers polled believe their organization lacks trust. Plus, trust in bosses has declined since last year.

Many employers recognize trust is an essential ingredient for business success. Here are 10 ways to improve trust inside a company when managing employees

Related: 8 Ways to Build Trust in the Workplace (Infographic)

1. Involve staffers in decisions directly affecting them.

Employees don’t want to be left in the dark while a decision is made. If specific departments are directly affected by a decision, include the employees involved in the process.

During the decision-making process, hold a meeting so employees can voice concerns and ideas and be heard by managers.

2. Pay close attention to relationships.

When an employee quits, it's often due to a boss. A CareerBuilder study released in January found 37 percent of the employees surveyed were likely to leave their jobs this year due to a poor opinion about the performance of a boss.

According to Interaction Associates, a quarter of employees trust their boss less this year than they did in 2013. To improve trust, make relationships a priority. Encourage managers to promote transparent communication and offer to help employees when it's needed.

3. Trust employees at every level of the organization.

Trust must be reciprocated in the workplace. If a company wants its employees to trust managers, then the converse should be true.

To build trust, let staffers give feedback and make decisions. If employees have the opportunity to contribute ideas, they’ll be more likely to trust the boss.

4. Provide constructive feedback.

Employees perform better when managers give constructive feedback. Instead of punishing employees for failures, speak positively about staffers and deliver the feedback they need to improve.

If an employee misses a deadline, don’t immediately exact punishment. Ask the staffer if anything would help him or her avoid that mistake in the future and teach the person how to manage his or her time better.

5. Be consistent.

Never play favorites or create vague expectations. This will only cause confusion and breed distrust among staff.

A manager can’t expect a new hire to be as efficient as someone who has worked at the company for years. Coach employees and give them the training needed for them to be successful.

Related: 7 Ways to Say I Love You

6. Adequately reward accomplishments.

Achievements by individuals and teams should never go unnoticed in a workplace. Otherwise, employees will feel undervalued by their employer and the distrust will deepen.

If an employee secures a new client, offer a bonus or publicly recognize the person for the hard work.

7. Provide employees with needed resources.

Employees want to successfully perform their responsibilities. But if an employer fails to provide the resources they need, staffers will begin to lose faith in their company's ability to help them accomplish goals.

For example, if an employee says his or her computer is too slow to complete work efficiently, don’t ignore the situation. Take action and find a way to provide the technology that will help an employee complete the job effectively.

8. Set company values and adhere to them.

Trusting organizations need a set of values for each manager and employee to follow that establish the company's standards and hold management accountable. 

If values are not already in place, an innovative way to determine them is to figure out what employees value the most. Zappos emailed every employee to find out his or her personal values. Then the company could better create values for the organization that every employee could abide by.

Ideally, the company already has values set in stone and adheres to them when hiring new employees. After all, if an employee is a poor cultural fit, both the organization and the staffer will suffer.

9. Promote transparency.

Managers must clearly communicate during the decision-making process and admit to any mistakes made. 

Maintain transparency by encouraging managers and employees to always tell the truth. Make information about decisions readily available.

10. Create a culture of community.

In my experience, workplaces that promote a collaborative atmosphere can accomplish more than those with competitive environment.

Instead of focusing on organizational hierarchies, encourage managers to work together with employees. This will foster closer bonds between employees and management.

What are your best techniques for building trust within an organization?

Related: An Ode to Transparency

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