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How to Create Employee Trust

By Oak, for HRM Guide

December 12 2018 - Mutual trust is an essential part of the relationship between managers and their employees. A natural bond of trust can keep morale and motivation high without your staff feeling like they're under constant pressure or surveillance from those above them.

The modern world, and the working conditions we're used to, have made it far easier to both build and lose this kind of relationship, especially when a department has been given a new manager or team leader that they've never worked with before. Like many things in business, building it takes time, but there are certain ways that you can influence your employees to put more trust in their management as a whole.

Credit

There are hundreds of stories around about an employee's hard work getting no recognition whilst their boss or manager takes the credit for a department's success. Once this happens to your staff, they'll be incredibly wary of it happening again: if the misattribution of credit is never fixed, they may hold a personal grudge against those who took it.

As a manager, make sure that you always attribute success to those who deserve it, and point out anyone whose work has been lacklustre or detrimental. Make sure that you personally acknowledge their role in company successes and that you aren't attaching your name to work you've had no part in. Asking employees how much your management has helped can also be a good way of judging your input into their success.

Transparency

Being truthful and transparent will have a significant impact on how much your employees trust you. There are certain situations in which withholding information or being vague is necessary for the sake of the business, but lying to your employees or always withholding information will make them less likely to trust in you. This can also disconnect you from your staff and make it harder to motivate them.

As a manager, it's your responsibility to set a precedent for how your workers should act.

Consistency

It's difficult to trust somebody that you can't predict, and inconsistent management can be a major challenge for employees to overcome. Not every business needs rigid processed and objectives, but staff should always be managed in a way that allows them to do their jobs independently, based on the environment and patterns they're used to.

It can be difficult for your employees to deliver the exact same experience to your customers when their own management is constantly changing things about how they do their job. Your employees will start to lose faith in your intentions, and trust in you.

Communication

Different people prefer different types and tones of communication, but a lack of contact can distance you from your workforce and remove the human element of their management. Without open communication, there's no way for employees to comfortably contact their manager, which can lead to them feeling silenced or pressured into accepting whatever management says.

Communication is a big part of trust, so giving your employees a voice can make them more confident in your management skills, as well as their ability to express concerns or support for certain ideas.

Responsibility

A manager's power over their employees comes with a responsibility to accept their own mistakes and errors. Blaming a random member of staff for problems caused by your own management is a quick way to have your employees dislike you: they'll either be scared that you'll blame them for your mistakes or annoyed that you refuse to accept that you were in the wrong.

Accepting responsibility for your mistakes shows your employees that you aren't willing to threaten their jobs to save your own, and that you're aware of the fact that you might sometimes make poor suggestions or contributions without realising it. They can trust the fact that you won't let them be punished unless they were the reason a project failed, meaning that they'll be more focused on their own responsibilities rather than worrying about the group performance as a whole.

For more internal communications advice and tips, visit the Oak Intranet blog.



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