7 Sure-fire Ways to Earn Your Employees’ Trust

7 ways to earn your employees’ trust 

Employees are sensitive creatures, and one of the quickest things they pick up on is whether or not their boss trusts them.

Trust is a critical element for a healthy workgroup and company. Without it, morale and productivity suffer, good employees leave and the rumor mill works overtime.

What does a failure to display trust look like? Micromanaging and a lack of willingness to delegate are two of the most common traits.

Other behaviors that make employees feel as if you don’t trust them include:

  • Pridefulness or lack of humility
  • Failure to build relationships with individual team members
  • Dictatorial behavior
  • Failure to listen and accept other viewpoints
  • Failure to admit your mistakes or accept that others make mistakes

Here are seven tips for how to squelch your trust-busting tendencies.

1. Establish a Personal Connection

Great leaders make time to get to know their team and what each employee needs to perform well. This doesn’t have to be time-consuming. All it requires is a stop by someone’s desk to ask, “How’s it going? Do you have any questions about that new task you’ve been assigned?”

It’s easy to lose touch with your team when you’re constantly caught up in the hustle and bustle. But if you don’t pay attention to current projects and the challenges your employees are facing, you can’t provide the support they need to keep efficiency and productivity humming. And if you’re aloof most of the time, your team won’t feel comfortable coming to you when they need help.

In addition, demonstrate that you care about your team members as human beings, not just employees. Keep up with their personal lives. If someone has a death in the family or a sick dog, extend a simple expression of concern or maybe offer them some extra time off to show that you care. This can help build mutual trust and loyalty between you and your employees.

2. Show Humility 

No one wants to work for a know-it-all or someone who can’t admit when they’ve made a mistake.

If you find yourself falling into that habit, remember, you’re a business leader, not a god. No one expects you to know everything. In reality, the ability to admit a mistake or ask for help demonstrates strength.

Even better, acknowledge your team’s expertise by asking your employees for their opinions and implementing their recommendations as often as possible.

3. Connect the Dots for People 

Facilitation builds trust because you’re helping team members make alliances in other departments and broaden their skills.

Simply ask, “Is there anything you need to do your job better?” You’re likely to find many opportunities to help your employees.

For instance, Jenny needs help finding the right person to help her resolve an issue she’s having with your company’s accounting software. You introduce her to Max, your company’s accounting software wiz. This simple gesture shows Jenny that you’ve got her back. It shows that you want to see her succeed. This can go a long way in helping you build trust.

4. Make room for mistakes 

We all make mistakes. Some are small – such as a misplaced file – and some are cringe-worthy. Your employees will appreciate it if you quickly debrief them on the small mistakes and treat those as growth opportunities on the way to better performance.

Conversation starters may include:

  • Talk me through what led you to that decision.
  • What do you think went wrong?
  • Let’s talk about what can be done differently next time.

Rarely will someone make a mistake so huge that it affects the business and becomes worthy of heavy-handed involvement from you. But when a big problem happens, remember that it’s usually not one person’s fault, but a series of missteps and broken processes.

Treating employees’ mistakes as a business problem rather than a personal failure signals to your team that they can trust you to react appropriately when things go wrong.

5. Ditch the micromanagement 

It can be tempting to think you know the best way to perform a task. In reality, people perform better when they’re allowed to get a job done in their own way.

Other ways to throw off the shackles of micromanagement include:

  • Let your team make routine decisions without coming to you for permission.
  • Eliminate unnecessary approval processes.
  • Delegate tasks as learning experiences and set expectations up front.
  • Acknowledge your way is not the only way.
  • Encourage your team members to hold each other accountable – this should not come from you only.

In addition to making employees feel like you trust them, empowering team members encourages them to use their creativity to get the job done.

6. Demonstrate trust logistically 

It seems simple, but the lines of communication must be open in order to build trust. This doesn’t have to be complicated. A few logistics are all you need.

First, it’s hard to trust a manager you rarely see or speak with. Make yourself available by leaving your office door open as much as possible. Walk the shop floor, greeting people, asking questions and offering help.

One caveat: You have to “manage by walking around” regularly. If you only talk to employees when something is wrong, they’re likely to fear your sudden presence in their midst rather than trust your being there.

Sharing meals brings people together, so host regular employee get-togethers.  A monthly team lunch to celebrate that month’s birthdays can be an excellent time to find out what’s really going on in your team members’ professional and personal lives.

7. Share success and give credit 

Nothing undermines trust faster than a boss who hogs credit for a job well done. Don’t be that manager or employees will stop sharing their good ideas.

In staff meetings, ask everyone to share a success story or something they feel good about. Publicly recognize when one or more team members resolve a long-standing issue, land a new client or find a way to reduce costs.

Praise is both highly motivating to employees and free. All it takes is a bit of thought on your part.

Trust runs both ways 

Source: Insperisty Staff, 2023

“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them”. 
– Ernest Hemingway

Did you know this about disc?

DiSC is an assessment that aids with effective communication

Your Colleagues

In the Your Colleagues section in Catalyst, users can:

  • Learn their colleagues’ strengths, when to pull them into a project, and what stresses them out
  • Compare preferences and tendencies across a range of workplace behaviors using the DiSC model
  • Gain access to tips that help them work better together in a variety of situations

Many Catalyst users review this section before heading into a meeting or kicking off a new project with a coworker.

8 Remarkable Benefits to Leading with Gratitude

Grateful people are happier, healthier, and nicer to  be around. Research has shown that thanking others and explaining why we’re grateful is one of the most powerful ways things you can do.

What are the benefits of expressing gratitude?

  • It builds and strengthens relationships. When others know we need them, our relationships deepen.
  • It improves health. Gratitude positively impacts our health by reducing stress.
  • It makes us nicer to be around. We can all do with a little more social capital; expressing gratitude builds those networks of relationships.
  • It creates optimism. Gratitude shines a spotlight on things we have, rather than drawing attention to what we lack. This fosters a culture of abundance within us, making us optimistic about the future.
  • It reduces anger. A practice of gratitude makes us more open to receiving negative feedback and strengthens us over time.
  • It causes us to be more people-centered. Gratitude shifts attention away from ourselves and directs it to others.
  • It eliminates negative emotions. With a focus on positive emotions, room for negative thoughts becomes smaller.
  • It feels good. When we express gratitude, it helps our meed and allows us to feel better about our circumstances and ourselves.

Give yourself the gift and power of gratitude. It will foster stronger relationships, and help you live happier. What are some of the ways that you express gratitude in your life?

(Adapted from Leadercast)

“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” —Zig Ziglar

4 Ways to Help Employees’ Soft Skills Shine!

We may live in a digital world, but soft skills like communication, problem solving, collaboration, and empathy are becoming more valued than technology. It’s time to elevate soft skills to a topic worthy of frequent leadership inspection.

Here are four ways you can develop your team’s soft skills on the job with minimal financial investment:

  1. Set the stage. Help your team members understand that developing their people skills is part of their path to internal career mobility; and that only focusing on their technical abilities will hold them back in the long run.
  2. Put soft skills front and center. Celebrate wins that highlight people skills. Give equal praise for how something was done as well as what was achieved.
  3. See the opportunity in challenge. Setbacks are an opportunity to coach employees through the speedbumps of organizational life while building a portfolio of critical soft skills. Work with your employees to overcome these challenges and they will come out the other side stronger than before.
  4. Get clear about what good people skills look like. Consistent detailed feedback is core to leadership. When offering feedback highlight specific things your employees said or did that demonstrate their soft skills.

The modern workplace demands top-notch soft skills. Help your team members shine by developing their human skills in equal measure with their technical skills.

“The soft stuff is always harder than the hard stuff.”
– Roger Enrico

(Adapted from Smart Brief)

7 Questions That Lower Resistance to Negative Feedback

business women disagreeing with each other

Your  feedback was rejected. Now what?

Giving feedback is part of being a leader, but sometimes recipients don’t recognize feedback as the gift it is intended to be. What can you do to help the recipient move past resistance and into understanding?

Gut check

Before responding to the individual, take a moment to consider your motivations in giving the feedback. Do you really want what’s best for the recipient, or do you have a bone to pick? If your goal is to be helpful, keep going! If you’re motivated by your own self-interest, move on.

Redirect

When you come up against a wall of resistance, don’t keep hammering your point home. Instead, ask these questions and listen to their answers.

  1. What’s going on for you right now?
  2. Go through the senses. What are you thinking? What are you feeling? What are you hearing? What are you seeing? Hitting their preferred way of thinking may help them open up.
  3. Imagine, if this feedback was true, what would you say next?
  4. Imagine, if this feedback was true, what would you ask?
  5. Explore intent vs. impact. What did you intend? What is the impact?
  6. When someone is resistant, what do they do?
  7. What’s at stake for you right now?

From: The Leadership Freak

“Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.”  – Frank A Clark

Giving Up Control to Create Leaders

In our last newsletter, Assumptions that can Harm Your Coaching Culture; we focused on developing a coaching culture that inspires discovery, reflection, and persistence. This kinds of cultural shifts can require big changes in the landscape of leadership.

This powerful video explores one leader’s high stakes decision to let go of control, and empowering his crew to make decisions.

“Leadership is communicating to people their worth and potential so clearly that they are inspired to see it in themselves” -David Marquet