This Is How Good Leaders Build Trust With Their Teams Every Time They Communicate

Your relationship with your employees translates to their relationship with your customers.
This Is How Good Leaders Build Trust With Their Teams Every Time They Communicate
Image credit: Hinterhaus Productions | Getty Images
Guest Writer
Freelance Wellness Writer
5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In case you’re wondering why having a healthy relationship with your employees is important, I’ll let you in on a little secret. Your relationship with your employees translates to their relationship with your customers. Providing a conducive work environment filled with trust and security for your employees will translate to commitment, dedication and loyalty on their part. A healthy relationship is not bought, but earned. And although it will take time, dedication, sacrifice and resources to build a healthy relationship, it is one that comes with the power and knowledge to build more.

Related: Investing in Your Employees Is the Smartest Business Decision You Can Make

Here are six practical tips to help build and improve your relationship with your employees, teammates and colleagues.

1. Be kind.

Even the most professional and proactive people have bad days, and sometimes they let their bad days translate to how they relate to the customers -- and that can be bad for business. The importance of simple acts of kindness can never be overstated. A simple “you look nice today” or “nice work with yesterday’s presentation” can brighten up anyone’s day. I mean, you’d love to hear that, so why not say it to your employee? Ask for their input and include them in major decision making. Research has proven that the way to a person's heart is through making them feel loved, valued and appreciated. Pay a compliment, give a sincere and kind remark, and watch your emotional bank account with your employees grow exponentially.

2. Honesty.

In an attempt to be kind to people, you shouldn’t consciously omit the truth because you could end up doing them more harm than good. So just like the “babe, do I look fat in these jeans?” scenario where you don’t want your partner going out looking like a sausage, but also don’t want to hurt their feelings, you say the truth but in a kind way. Trust is a major determinant of the health of any relationship, and therefore plays a huge role in your relationship with your employees. Sincerity and fairness are just as important in work relationships as they are in any other kind of relationship.

3. Keep promises.

This is actually pretty simple because you don’t have to keep a promise you don’t make. If your initial agreement promised your employees clear career paths with promising development opportunities, you have to work on making these happen. Do not give your employees a promise that’s important to them and not deliver, because this action or inaction takes away their trust and affects their dedication and commitment to actualizing your vision. It is also very important to remember that while some things may seem inconsequential to you, to an employee it might mean the world.

Related: The Secret to Employee Happiness -- Revealed

4. Define expectations.

Ever had the “I said...," "no, you never said…,” “oh I’m pretty sure I said…” conversation with an employee? Or gotten disappointed because you expected them to figure out something that seemed so simple on their own but they didn’t? If you answered yes, it might be time to start vividly defining your expectations to your employees. Employees want to know what they are working towards, so it’s essential to communicate the company’s mission and vision. A major cause of almost all employer-employee relationship issues comes down to conflicting expectations surrounding employee roles and employer goals. Let your employees know what you expect from them at every step, and save yourself the stress of getting disappointed or having to clean up their mess.

5. Loyalty. 

Loyalty is simply having or showing complete or constant support. Employer loyalty can be expressed in different forms, but the most basic form is still recognizing a job well done. Doing this regularly let’s your employees know that you’re on their side and not working against them. It makes them look forward to impressing you. Staying loyal to previous employees is equally as important. A lot of employers that badmouth their previous employees to the current ones do not know that the trick to retaining those who are present is to be loyal to those who are absent. As an employer, it’s far greater to be trusted and respected than it is to be liked. If bad mouthing someone to someone else is what cements your relationship, then that’s bad cement.

Related: Leaders Only Need to Do This to Retain Top Talent

6. Apologize. 

If you blow any of the above five, learn to say you’re sorry. The humility and respect that accompanies a sincere apology is second to none. While covering up your actions or simply ignoring them may seem like the easiest thing to do, it is important to know that people will not always forgive or forget a cover up. It will always linger in the air and create a defensive atmosphere filled with self-protection, self-justification and accusation of other people. If unexpressed emotions are not addressed, your work relationship just deteriorates.

Having a healthy relationship with your employees will result in a healthy work culture, increased employer and employee codependence and rapid company growth when all other factors are satisfied.

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