When it comes to professional life, emotions don’t hold much value, but ‘trust’ serves as a basis of every relationship. Employees have to trust their subordinates and leaders to maintain a healthy environment in the office. Likewise, leaders are also responsible for forming trust-worthy relationships with employees. After all, trust is one of the few things’ money can’t buy, making people have to earn it.
Do you know how to build trust? Aligning your words and actions is the ideal way to establish trust in an organization. Being a leader, create positive relationships with your team by cooperating, resolving conflicts, and giving honest feedback. Similarly, demonstrate your expertise as employees are more likely to trust a leader if he/she has the technical know-how and adequate experience. Thus, instead of flaunting your knowledge, make it visible through actions.
Moreover, follow through your commitments and keep your promises to motivate the workers. If you are starting to realize the importance of trust in organizations, take the next step, and start building trust. If you are clueless about it, let us help you out. Here are seven ways to strategize trust-building in the workplace.
1. Demonstrate an Explicit Vision
Believe it or not, but employees want to become a part of something bigger than themselves. And for this, they depend on their leaders to establish a clear vision and provide direction to achieve goals. If the company is going through a financial crunch, explain your vision, and encourage employees to bring new initiatives. If you want to ensure higher proficiency, get an online leadership certificate to lead the team in crisis times.
It offers an experiential learning experience, where you will manage a fictional team. You will learn to overcome challenges while succeeding in times of crisis. Recently, leaders were able to gain confidence by making their teams meet goals in the middle of a pandemic. All this was only possible through mutual understanding and trust. Thus, never stop learning if you want to become competent leaders of the future.
2. Lead with Integrity
Firstly, constitute some ethical principles and values. You have to show a consistent and uncompromising adherence to these values, even if you are steering through a downturn. Leaders can’t persuade employees to trust them; instead, they have to show trustworthiness by keeping their word. If you made a promise of a bonus last month, don’t keep delaying it.
Undoubtedly, winning trust is an essential element for inspiring leaders as everyone likes working under people they can trust. Therefore, demonstrate your integrity by fulfilling your commitments. It shows employees that you are leading in alignment with the organizational values. Moreover, you can also reward subordinates who act with integrity.
3. Ensure Transparency
Do you believe in the power of truth? Whether you are giving negative feedback or discussing the company’s progress with shareholders – be transparent. It doesn’t mean you have to discuss everything, only the crucial information that is impacting stakeholders. Instead of telling employees what they want to hear, educate them with essential information. If your company is at the risk of bankruptcy, don’t keep employees in the dark. Discuss all the recent developments to prepare them for upcoming challenges. Alongside building trust, it will tremendously help them with professional growth.
4. Create Open Lines of Communication
Successful businesses are all about people. Leaders create open lines of communication to hear out every opinion and feedback. You can readily tap into employee’s day to day tasks and changing needs. Alongside this, it helps you identify places where they need support or a different leadership approach. Your responsiveness and effective communication make employees realize that you are empowering them, building a trustful relationship.
Furthermore, failures are a part of every business, but when employees fail, they can think leaders are setting them up to fail. These false perceptions can affect the atmosphere of the workplace. The open communication acts as a savior in such challenging situations, setting clear expectations, and resolving misunderstandings.
5. Accept Mistakes & Failures
Being a leader doesn’t mean you are immune to failure. Sometimes, employees are at fault, while at times, the leader executes a wrong decision. We are all human, which means mistakes are prone to happen. You can hold employees accountable, but don’t use them as a scapegoat for your failure. Statistics suggest that 63% of employees don’t trust leaders because they blame employees for their own mistakes.
Thus, when a mistake happens, successful leaders don’t hesitate to own it. Acknowledge the problem and join hands with your workforce to find solutions. You can have a company-wide meeting to discuss what went wrong and how you could have done things differently. Frame it as a learning opportunity to ensure mistakes don’t repeat themselves in the future. Remember, leadership starts with you; if you will play the blame-game, employees would also follow your footsteps.
6. Show Empathy
Although everyone has to think and act logically by keeping emotions aside, leadership is empathic. After all, how else can you build trust and lead through times of crisis? Show employees you care about them by getting to know them outside work. Find out their interests, talk about their family, and be genuine with your efforts. You have to understand that relationship-building is the first step to establishing trust. If you are taking any leadership courses, you should be familiar with cross-meetings and relationship-building exercises. It is an incredible way of setting up an environment of creativity, innovation, and trust.
7. Practice What You Preach
Did you ever regret it after committing? At times, leaders find themselves in the same boat, but there is no chance they can back out from commitments. The entire procedure of trust-building is about practicing what you preach. If you end up breaking agreements, it won’t leave a positive impression on employees. Therefore, model the behavior you seek because actions speak louder than words. If you say teamwork is essential, reinforce your point by initiating group projects and collaborations.
Similarly, if you want employees to be punctual, lead the way. However, if you have to break the commitment because of any genuine crisis, communicate it to employees beforehand. You can offer renegotiation or postpone the commitment as it is better than informing employees at the last-minute. It builds trust not only at the moment but for years to come.
Leading a company with thousands of people is never easy, even if you have years of experience. But when you form strong foundations of trust, you can efficiently lead the company through challenging times. Teams align around the organization’s mission and put their best foot forward. If you are struggling with trust-building, learn about best leadership practices and trends to enhance your expertise.