How to Build Trust in the Workplace. Trust in the workplace is essential to aid in communication, teamwork, and progress. When you and your employees believe in each other, you’re more likely to work together and have a better time doing it. Keep reading to learn how you can build trust in the workplace with only a few small changes.
Open up about the company and its future goals. The more you can be transparent about your workplace, the more people around you will trust you. Share things like financial results, performance metrics, or notes from the last board meeting to keep your employees and coworkers in the loop.
- When you’re not transparent with your employees, people tend to make things up to fill in the gaps (and they’re rarely ever good things).
Be flexible about work arrangements.
It shows that you trust your employees to do their jobs. If someone needs to come in 30 minutes late to drop off their kids in the morning, that’s okay. If someone requests to work from home for half of the week, do your best to honor that. The more you listen to your employees, the harder they’ll work.
- You might also allow your employees to regulate their own work tasks as they see fit. As long as it gets done on time, it doesn’t matter which order they go in.
Pay your employees fairly.
Let your employees know that you value their skills. When employees feel undercompensated, they feel undervalued. Have an honest conversation with your employees about their wages and what the people around them are getting paid. If anyone has any issues with their wages, hear them out and do your best to rectify the problem.
- Fair pay also means not discriminating based on age, gender, or race. All of your employees should be paid fairly for the work that they’re doing.
Praise people for their efforts.
Make sure you call out the good stuff, not just the bad. If someone goes above and beyond in their workload, let them know you appreciate it. You can talk to them one on one, or you can praise them in front of a group to make it a little more public.
- It’s important to call out the good stuff as much as the bad stuff. If you only ever focus on the negatives, your coworkers and employees aren’t going to trust that you see all the good they do.
Keep the promises you make.
Let your coworkers see that you’re dependable. If you make a commitment to something, be sure to follow up and see it through. Try not to go back on a promise unless it’s completely unavoidable, or you could end up losing people’s trust.
- For instance, maybe you told your employees that you’d advocate for more PTO at the next board meeting. Show them that you care by putting together a presentation and taking it to your boss, then letting your employees know what they said.
Get to know the people around you.
Make a connection with the people you work with every day. Try to get to know them on a deeper level than just what they do at work—ask them about their personal lives, their hobbies, and what they like to do for fun. An easy way to start this kind of conversation is just asking someone what they got up to over the weekend.
- You could also organize events outside of the workplace for a little group bonding. It might be easier to get to know people when you’re not in a work environment.
Check in with the people around you.
Follow up with your coworkers and employees regularly. Send a progress report, ask for an update, and generally keep people in the loop about what you’re working on. If people have to come up and ask you for a follow up, that’s a bad sign.
- The more you talk with the people around you, the more they’ll learn to trust you.
Communicate about issues.
Let people know if you’re having a problem. If it’s something you can’t fix on your own, ask for help or let your boss know you need clarification. Don’t wait until the last minute, and don’t overwork yourself trying to solve something that you could have asked for help on.
- It can be tough to ask for help sometimes. Just remember that you’re doing it for the benefit of your coworkers and employees, not just yourself.
- If a coworker or employee is upset about a situation, take some time to talk to them about why. That will give them a chance to work through whatever they’re experiencing—but it will also help them feel respected and valued.
Take feedback from your employees and coworkers.
Hear them out, and validate what they’re feeling. Ask for feedback often, especially if you’re a manager or a boss. Let people know that you’re here to listen as well as lead so they feel like their opinions matter.
- Similarly, try to implement changes based on people’s feedback. It’s one thing to listen, but it’s another thing to act based upon your new information.
Manage the work, not the people.
Set the general direction, but don’t get too detailed. If you’re a manager, there’s a good chance that your employees are competent enough to figure out the details of their assignments. You can pass along information and help when needed, but try not to micromanage or look over anyone’s shoulder.
- Your goal should be to make it easier for people to get their work done, not harder.
Treat everyone equally.
Playing favorites often leads to resentment. Even if you get along with some people more than others, try not to let it show during the work day. Treat everyone equally, especially if you’re the manager, so that they all feel like you’re being fair.
- Playing favorites can happen in small ways, too. If you always ask your favorite employee about their weekend and neglect everyone else, people are going to pick up on it.
Be good at your job.
You don’t have to be the best, but you should know what you’re doing. When you’re good at your job, people learn to trust that you can get work done on time and without a ton of mistakes. Try to put a lot of effort into your work to produce great results