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Building Trust Between Managers and Employees

Trust is one of the most important aspects of building relationships within the workplace that is conducive to a successful business environment. When there is trust between managers and employees, the organization as a whole benefits.

Building trust between managers and employees is not always an easy task to accomplish, especially if certain steps are not followed. Employees need to feel like they are valued and respected before they are willing to give trust in return.

Wondering just how to build trust between managers and employees? Keep reading to find out how!

Why Is Building Trust Essential Between Managers and Employees?

Building trust between managers and employees is an essential part of having a positive work environment. When there is trust between employees and their supervisors, the work tends to be done sometimes above and beyond what is expected.

An organization is only successful when the work environment is positive and when productivity is at its best. This can only be achieved when management and employees have mutual trust in each other.

Benefits of Building Trust Between Managers and Employees

Building trust between managers and employees helps to build an environment that is more conducive to open communication and high productivity. The result of this is typically a company that is successful because employees are getting their work done efficiently.

There are many benefits of building trust between employees and managers but the most important is that it builds a sense of mutual respect that allows everyone to be successful. This includes the business as a whole since they are only as strong as the employees and managers that work together.

How to Build Trust Between Managers and Employees

Trust between managers and employees is the cornerstone of creating a positive work environment conducive to high performance. When the trust is low, employees tend to not work as hard and thus the entire organization can suffer.

Building trust between managers and employees can be done when business owners and managers alike are on the same page. This means that certain expectations are put in place and managers follow through on everyone.

If you are wondering just how to build trust between managers and employees, keep reading.

Active Listening and Sharing

Creating an environment that is based on trust can be difficult for many managers especially if they are not used to two-way communication. The idea of creating an environment where active listening and sharing are expected is one of the best ways to build trust.

Active listening means that you are focused on the person in front of you and are hearing everything they are saying. You can show that you are listening by reflecting on what they say in your own words to ensure that you understand them completely.

Active sharing is the concept of ensuring that you are also sharing your thoughts and beliefs about the organization and the work being done. When you share with employees concerning the work, they will often reciprocate by also sharing. 

By fostering an environment that is focused on both listening and sharing, the result is typically trust between management and employees that are authentic. While it may be awkward in the beginning, choosing to do this can create a better working environment overall.

A man and a woman high five while sitting at a desk with a computer on it.
Empowering employees is an important step for building trust. 

Empowerment of All Employees

In most cases, employees want to feel like they are trusted to get the work they are tasked with done regularly. However, when managers are constantly looking over their employees’ shoulders at every turn, it makes it difficult to feel trusted.

As a manager, your number one priority is to ensure that the company does not suffer by making sure productivity stays at an all-time high. This can only be done if employees feel like they are trusted to do the work without being watched constantly.

The best way for managers to build trust in their employees is to not only trust them to do the work they are tasked with but also give them new challenges from time to time. This will give employees a sense of empowerment and give them the boost they need to complete their tasks.

The bottom line is that employees who feel trusted with the work they do regularly and new tasks and challenges along the way are more likely to be more productive. As a result, the company is viewed in a more positive light and is more successful overall.

Lead Honestly, Transparently, and with Integrity

Building trust between managers and employees has to start from the top and then be allowed to trickle down. Employees typically adapt to the way their managers treat them and behave towards them and the company as a whole.

Managers who are honest and transparent with their employees and in the work environment are usually trusted more than those who are dishonest. Management can build trust with employees by not trying to hide the reasons they are doing a certain task but by being transparent.

When employees are trusted to know the truth behind a certain ad campaign, sale, or other tasks, they are more likely to get on board and ensure that the work is done correctly. Managers who lead with integrity, honesty, and transparency are more likely to have employees who work hard and get the job done.

Be Consistent

Consistency is the key to ensuring that trust is built and maintained by both management and employees alike. Managers who are consistent with what they do, how they act, and what they say are more likely to be trusted overall.

Whatever expectations and norms are set by management for employees to follow should also be followed by management. This will show employees that rules are not just created for them but for everyone involved in the organization.

For example, if you insist that employees are at work at least five minutes before their actual start time to ensure they are ready to go, you should do the same. If you insist they do this but are consistently late, they will get the impression that they can also be late.

Consistency gives employees something to depend on and is the key to being productive and successful in the workplace. When you, as management, are consistent with expectations and norms, employees will be more likely to follow your lead and do the same.

Lead by Coaching

Most people have probably worked for those leaders who make it known from the beginning that they are in charge and that employees are expected to follow their instructions. If you have worked for managers like this then you know how difficult it is to want to continue working for them.

The best managers are not in the position for glory but rather for the opportunity to help others reach their full potential. This type of leadership is more insistent on building trust and helping others to also grow within the organization.

When managers take on the leadership role of a coach, they are seen as wanting the best from all employees. This means that employees know that if they do not understand something, they can trust their manager to help them through whatever the task is. 

Make Employees Feel Appreciated

One of the biggest complaints that employees have when it comes to the workplace is that they do not feel appreciated. When this happens, employees tend to lose trust and faith in the company they once were excited to work for.

If managers want to build trust with their employees, they need to find ways to show their appreciation daily. Keep in mind that the appreciation should be genuine and in the moment and not as lip service.

This does not mean that managers should go out and buy lunch for employees daily, or give lavish gifts. What it does mean is that when an employee completes a task, a manager should acknowledge and thank them for their hard work.

Allow Employees to Have a Voice

Some of the best places to work are those that are keen on ensuring that all employees have a voice within the company. While management is in place to lead the organization and give employees direction, employees should not be expected to just follow blindly.

Whether you are having a staff meeting or are just discussing an upcoming project with employees, managers who ask for the thoughts of employees are more likely to build trust overall. 

No matter what the circumstances, organizations that allow employees to have a voice in the type of work that gets done and other areas are more likely to have engaged and productive employees in the long run.

Make it Okay to Fail

One of the hardest parts of a work environment is when an employee or the organization as a whole fails at something. Employees who fail tend to take it hard because they think that they can be fired.

Managers who consistently show employees that it is okay to fail sometimes as long as they pick themselves up and try again are more likely to have the trust and confidence of employees. 

This means that when a project fails, a manager has the opportunity to show employees that it is human nature to have disappointments. The key to these is how you, as a manager, act directly after a failure that will show others how they should react as well.

Show Respect at Every Turn

Most people know that the best way to get respect and build trust in others is to show respect to them in the first place. Once respect is given consistently, most people will reciprocate, and that builds trust and healthy relationships in the workplace.

For managers, this means that as they work with employees they need to show respect to them by trusting them to do the job they are tasked with. This also means respectfully talking to them at all times.

Managers who show respect to their employees will often get respect in return which in turn leads to a healthier work environment. Employees who feel respected tend to work harder for managers who are respectful and trustworthy.

Be Clear About Expectations of the Workplace

Although it may be obvious that expectations should be set and followed through from the beginning, for some employees and managers it is more difficult to accomplish. This mostly happens when the expectations are not followed consistently.

If you, as a manager, want employees to do specific things, then expectations should be set from the start. Not only is having certain expectations in place important but setting consequences for not following them is also vital.

Employees who know what the expectations are and what will happen if they are not followed usually tend to be more productive overall. This is because of the mutual respect that comes from knowing what is expected.

Two young men shake hands at a desk with a laptop on it.
There are many signs that show that employees don’t trust their manager. 

Common Signs That Show Employees Do Not Trust Their Manager

Work environments that do not value mutual respect often show signs that employees do not trust their managers. This can be seen through various interactions between employees and management as well as the work ethic of the workers.

Here are some common signs that show employees do not trust their managers:

  • Constantly questioning decisions made by the manager
  • Demonstrating low productivity
  • Negative communication with other employees
  • Keeping vital information from their manager
  • Consistently choosing their self-interest over others

The Downsides of Mistrust in the Workplace

Keep in mind that while there are many benefits to building a trusting relationship between managers and their employees, there are downsides when the trust is not there. This can often lead to high turnover rates, which can cause the overall organization to suffer.

When you see a company that is having an unusually high turnover rate, this is often a sign that there is a problem within the organization. This is often the result of many things, however, they often stem from mistrust between the management and employees.

Ready to Build Trust Between Your Managers and Employees?

Now that you are familiar with the many ways that management can build trust with their employees, you should be able to implement these strategies. It is also prudent if you want to build a business that is seen as successful, to listen to those wise leaders that have come before you.

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