A survey of random people on almost any topic would show that trust levels are at an all time low. Browsing through Facebook on any given day, you will find people who have lost trust in political leaders, in organizations, in leadership, in food safety, and a myriad of other topics. People struggle to trust in anything today and the workplace is certainly right up there with places and things that people don’t trust.
What happens when trust is left out of the equation?
- Breakdown in communication. Employees don’t feel they can tell the truth to their employer.
- Broken promises. When management breaks trust with employees by not delivering on promises or rewards, employee performance decreases.
- Feelings of being spied on. Some corporate policies create micromanagement rules that tell the employee that they aren’t trusted to make adult decisions and that can result in even more rebellion.
- Delaying or omitting bad news. With today’s rapid-fire communication, you don’t want your employees to learn of an important business decision from Twitter.
- Lying about decisions or new policies. If the leader doesn’t take responsibility for his actions, it will come back to haunt him. Ideally, employees should be trusted enough to be part of the decision-making process when possible.
When we build an atmosphere of trust in the workplace magic starts to happen:
- Leaders who trust their employees are rewarded by being trusted in return.
- Individuals feel valued and are overall happier.
- Creativity and innovation grow as employees feel trusted.
- Positive results increase in an atmosphere of trust because employees are more likely to work harder to reach goals.
- People who feel trusted act with autonomy because they feel confident that they understand what actions are needed whether the goal is satisfied customers or an improved process.
Building trust starts with little steps. Treat people with respect. Listen to their ideas. Deliver promised rewards. Praise their successes.
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