Trust is the foundation of any successful relationship, both personal and professional, and when it is broken, it is extremely hard to repair. Yet, 45 percent of employees say that lack of trust in management is the biggest issue impacting their work performance.
When employees feel they can’t trust their leaders, they feel vulnerable, unsafe, less motivated to work, and spend more time and energy on self-preservation and job hunting than on increasing your company’s profits.
When employees are unsure of management, they may avoid addressing problems out of fear of being reprimanded–or because they feel that management doesn’t care about them, so they decide not to care about the company. Without trust, employees won’t go above and beyond to help your company become a high-performance organization.
Trust in management is paramount if you want a successful and solid business. The behaviors and attitude of management is the foundation on which the rest of the employee relationships are built. Here are four quick fixes to start repairing any trust issues you may have in your business.
1. Lead by example. Such a cliché, but such an obvious truth. This doesn’t mean you have to walk in the door like Mr. Rogers, but you do need to behave professionally. Treat all employees as equals and respect the work that is being performed. Be as you want your employees to be-professional, punctual, experienced, skillful with your language, supportive and inspiring. After all, the end game of being in business is to be efficient and profitable, not Mr. Cool Guy.
2. Recognition of employees. Trust in management is increased when employees feel valued and appreciated for their performance. Management needs to recognize employees for a job well done. If you want your staff to support your business goals, especially in times of great demand or uncertainty, they need to know that management cares and is listening to their experiences, ideas, and concerns.
3. Train managers in people skills. Managers are responsible for making sure employees’ duties are completed efficiently to achieve the company’s goals, but this doesn’t mean they automatically know how to manage people. Most managers can benefit from communication and trust-building training.
Your human resource department needs a consistent training program for managers to learn and practice appropriate skills for communicating, holding people accountable, and conflict resolution. Good communication is imperative to gaining trust and commitment from employees and, if you have a manager who is callous or a pushover, it affects all areas of your business.
4. Uphold policies and procedures. Lack of trust in leadership is a red flag that your business may have a “toxic” corporate culture that should be addressed immediately. Complying with and upholding the policies and procedures of the business is the responsibility of the managers and executives of the company, not just employees. When managers are allowed to bend the rules and employees aren’t, it sends the message that employees are less important than managers which undermines their morale. Making everyone accountable for complying with policies and procedures brings a feeling of fairness to the workplace, and employees’ performance will increase when policies are upheld.
Operating a successful business requires being focused on the people who run your business. If your organization’s executives and managers lead with an authentic, open, honest, and accountable style, you are more likely to inspire the best in your employees and gain the trust and performance needed for success.
Instead of spending time and money trying to repair broken trust, take the time upfront to develop sincere relationships between management and employees. A workplace that has a healthy respect between management and employees is more cohesive, committed, has higher performance and less staff turnover. When management takes care of employees, business performance, profits, and employee loyalty increase and everyone benefits.