What does it really take to gain the trust of your employees? One of the simplest ways to think about this logically is to put yourself in the shoes of your past self when you were just a single employee in a dead-end company that you wanted to get out of. Think about what your employer could’ve done to help you work more efficiently and you’ll probably be able to think up some fantastic ideas already. However, to make things a little easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of 15 things that will help you on your road to becoming a trustworthy employer.
Accept the Fact That It Takes Time to Build Trust
Firstly, don’t rush into it. Don’t force your way into your employees’ lives and don’t use your status as a way to gain their trust. Think of yourself as just another colleague that has more power over what they do. You need to understanding that building trust takes a long time, and you need to constantly show that you’re worthy of their trust before they accept you.
Know the Consequences of Abusing Their Trust
Once you finally do gain their trust, you need to be careful not to abuse it. Don’t assume that they’re going to trust you with every single detail of their work, and don’t assume that just because they trust you, that they’re going to work ridiculous hours of overtime for you. Never abuse the trust that your employees give you because it could seriously affect your relationship with the rest of your staff.
Care About Their Safety at Work
Caring about safety is one of the most basic ways to earn the trust of your staff, and how you do this will depend on a number of different factors. If you work in a busy factory, then announcing the installation of a new Mezzanine safety gate to keep them out of harm’s way is a brilliant move. Not only does it show that you care about their safety, but it also shows that you’re willing to invest in premium solutions that won’t break in a matter of weeks.
Consistency is Key
Resist the temptation of having rapid mood swings at work. If you’re supportive of your staff one minute then frustrated at their work the next, then you’re not exactly showing consistency. Employees are too smart to fall for the “nice guy boss” act that only lasts a couple of hours at best. Make sure you’re consistent with how you treat your staff and with the promises that you give them. If you can’t live up to expectations, then don’t trust to set your standards too high.
Lead by Example
If you want to get the best out of your employees to maintain high productivity levels, then you need to show that you’re willing to get your hands dirty as well. Leading by example is one of the most effective ways to build employee trust. Just by showing that you care enough about your company to get work done yourself is a good enough sign that tells people you’re serious about your business.
Keep Your Expectations Grounded
Try and get rid of any unrealistic expectations you have of your employees. Don’t give them an impossible job that you couldn’t even do yourself, and don’t tell them to work insane amounts of overtime. They’re not robots, they’re human beings much like yourself, so it’s important that you don’t force them into uncomfortable situations that they aren’t suited for. Keep your expectations of your staff grounded so you don’t end up disappointed when they don’t meet your unfairly high standards.
Show That You’re Reliable
As an employer, you need to show you’re reliable. If you’re constantly late to work, if you’ve never seen actually doing any work and if you always turn to your staff to make decisions for you, then you’re probably not someone that can be trusted in their position. Show your employees that you’re reliable by taking the initiative and by showing that you’re ready to lead. A leader that doesn’t trust their own decisions isn’t for the position. Show that you’re a reliable person by being dependable in the office.
Refrain From Talking About Them Behind Their Backs
Even if it’s a joke or a bit of banter, you need to show that you’re a professional employer by never talking about an employee behind their back. Don’t make jokes to their colleagues in private and don’t criticise them to your managers. If you have a problem with how your employee is working or acting, then make sure you speak to them in private and tell it to them directly. This will show our employees that you’re serious about improving their roles at work.
Don’t Be Afraid to Take the Blame
Sometimes, it’s fine to take the blame if you caused a problem in the office. Perhaps you’ve placed yourself in a position that bottlenecks the entire company, and maybe that’s caused some serious issues with the way your business is running. Maybe a decision you made has caused the company to lose a lot of sales, or maybe you just neglected something important. Whatever the case is, it’s fine to take the blame if you’re willing to change things. No one is perfect, so it’s fine to admit that you’re in the wrong sometimes.
Be Supportive to Their Needs and Commitments
A good employer understands the importance of being supportive. Your employees are humans and they’re trying their best at work, which means there can be the occasional time where they’re feeling frustrated at work or they’re upset about something that’s going on at home. Maybe they’re annoyed because the equipment you’ve provided them isn’t good enough, or maybe they just dislike working in their current position and want something more challenging. Providing for the needs and commitments of your employees is a great way to bu9ild trust with them. Just make sure you’re not playing favorites.
Speaking Honestly When Interacting With Them
Honesty is important in the office. The ability to speak truthfully to your staff and to tell them how a situation is instead of sugarcoating it can be the difference between a functional and productive office, and one that fails to make enough profit to cover its expenses. Be honest when interacting with your staff and you’ll find that running your business can get a whole lot easier.
Listen When Spoken To
As the boss, you’re in a position of power. At times, the power can get to you and you’ll feel like you don’t need to listen to your employees or you don’t need to concern yourself with their worries. Unfortunately, this a quick way to lose your company. The problem is that far too many employers think too highly of themselves and will outright ignore the complaints and issues that their employees have. If you want to build trust with your staff, listen to what they have to say and take what is said on board, don’t just ignore it.
Plan for Their Futures
You probably hated the idea of being in a dead-end job, and your staff are no different. Always give your employees a chance to improve themselves. Whether it’s learning a new skill from a study course that your company paid for, or the chance of being promoted to a managerial position with more benefits and better pay, make sure you try to plan for their futures instead of forever keeping them at their current level.
Resist the Temptation of Micromanaging
Micromanagement is one of the most frustrating things for an employee. The thought of having your boss looking over your shoulder and managing every little thing you take part in can be a nuisance, but it’s essential when you have new employees join. Sadly, micromanagement can be stressful for both parties involved, so resist the temptation of doing it if possible by trusting your employees to do the right thing once their trial period is over.
Put Yourself in Their Shoes
Lastly, make sure you put yourself in their shoes. It sounds like a cliche thing to say, but it was briefly mentioned at the beginning of this lengthy article. Your employees are probably thinking the same things that you were when you had a boss. In order to grow a relationship with your staff, you need to be understanding of their position and that occasionally means putting yourself in their shoes.
With any luck, these tips will have given you a great foundation on which to build a relationship with your staff. Just remember that gaining their trust is about more than just providing them with a place to grow their career or speaking to them as a friend. As friendly as you can be with your employees, it’s important to remember that they are at your office to work and you need to treat them with the respect they deserve. Once you’ve established that bond with your team, you can achieve brilliant goals that will have a great effect on your business.