12 Tips to Communicate Better and Improve Business Results

12 Tips for communicating better

Strong leader communicators know that when it’s effective, communication does much more than make people feel good. It is directly linked to business results.

In fact, good communication is inextricably linked to strong leadership. It inspires employees to commit their best effort by helping them understand the goals of the organization and how their individual efforts contribute to overall success.

Here are 12 tried and true ideas for communication that drives results:

1. Don’t settle for good…be great: Good communication gets the message out, and great communication connects the dots. Whether it’s in your detailed job description or not, your role is to connect the dots so others know what’s possible and their role in making it happen.

2. Build trust and credibility: Be visible and approachable, engage others openly, fully, and early on.

3. Set context and make information relevant: Remember to provide context and make information relevant so your audiences understand how they fit in and what it means to them. Provide job-related information so those you work with have the essential information they need to do their job effectively and/or make the best decisions.

4. Communicate with integrity: Tell the truth always and without exception.

5. Match your words and actions: Talk is cheap…especially when it comes to leaders and their ability to build and maintain trust. Just ask anyone (especially employees). At the end of the day, it’s actions and results that matter most.

6. Make time to communicate and make the most of that time: Set up regular face-to-face – this can be virtual – (or voice-to-voice) communication opportunities.

7. Be brief and brilliant: Be ready to get your point across in 15 seconds or less. Grab attention from the start and convince your listener what’s in it for them so they want to hear more.

8. Remember the basics, 5Ws and an H: This is the who, what, where, when, why and how. Keep in mind that adults usually process the “what”, then the “why.”

9. Use stories: The right anecdote can be worth a thousand theories or facts.

10. Check for understanding: Make sure your message is heard and really understood. Ask questions. Listen. Ask for a paraphrase.

11. Know your audience and what’s important to them: Understanding your audience is key to moving employees to action; the more you know about them, the better you’ll be able to persuade them.

12. Watch for information overload: Just because you say something doesn’t mean others hear and understand you. And isn’t that the whole point of communication – to create shared understanding and drive people to action? The answer is yes!

Source: David Grossman, The Grossman Group

“Excellent communication doesn’t just happen naturally.  It is a product of process, skill, climate, relationship and hard work
– Pat McMillan

Did you know this about disc?

DiSC is an assessment that aids with effective communication

With Conversation Starters on Catalyst, teams have an easy and fun way to tackle common challenges that hinder performance and move to tangible change. By combining DiSC with simple discussion guides, teams can talk about personality-based differences and how they affect group performance.
 You will:

  • Get to know each other faster
  • Communicate more clearly
  • Make better decisions together

 Getting started is easy!

  1. Visit the Your Groups feature on Catalyst
  2. Create and save a group with people in your organization
  3. Click into Conversation Starters and choose a topic

Leading Through Change: Your Guide to Successful Change Initiatives

Your guide to successful change initiatives

When leading through change, you must manage your team’s progress toward your goal as well as your employees’ attitudes throughout the experience.

Sometimes managing change calls for grace periods as your staff absorbs and understands a transition. Sometimes it calls for realism that’s not too sugarcoated. At all times, change calls for strong, consistent communication from the top of the organization before, during and after a change cycle.

What do your employees want to hear during change initiatives?

1. “Here’s what’s happening, and here’s why”

When you know a change is coming, share the news with your employees as soon as possible. This initial communication, where you articulate the need for change in your organization, initiates the change cycle.

Your employees may go on to experience:

  1. Shock
  2. Denial
  3. Frustration
  4. Depression
  5. Experimentation
  6. Decision-making
  7. Integration

To soften the initial news, make the big picture clear, shedding as much light on the situation as you can. Explain why the change is important to your organization and how it will affect your company in a positive way.

The sooner your employees hear from you when change is coming, the more time they have to process it. And the better they understand the reasons behind a change, the easier it will be for them to get on board.

2. “Here’s how this is going to benefit you

Don’t stop after you’ve explained how a change will benefit your business, even if you receive more support than resistance. Your employees may not articulate it, but they will probably be wondering: What’s in it for me?

You can gain your employees’ trust by anticipating these natural concerns. Consider how each group and individual will profit from the change. How will it make their work lives better? Be ready to point to these benefits when speaking with your employees. Look for ways to make the changes matter to them on an individual level.

3. “Here’s our goal”

Are you excited about what your organization will look like on the other side of this change? Invite your employees to envision it with you. Share your chief goal for the future, and reference it often.

Each person must decide to push through the discomfort that change requires – it will take some employees longer than others – and join you in working toward a new goal. Having a clear target can keep your team unified and encouraged even as they process and adapt to change at different speeds.

4. “I don’t have all the answers, but let’s talk through this”

You’ll speak openly. You’ll speak clearly. You’ll speak confidently. But will you speak vulnerably? And will you ask your employees to share their thoughts, too?

To lead through change well, you should strive for openness. Be transparent addressing the questions you don’t have answers to. Make sure your team is comfortable sharing their thoughts and questions.

If successful, you’ll appear more genuine and trustworthy. Transparent leadership, coupled with the opportunity to share opinions, gives your employees a greater sense of control over the situation, too. The result? Staff who are more likely to feel they’re making changes with you, rather than feeling that something is happening to them.

5. “Let’s strategize together”

Once your employees have asked their initial questions and shared opinions on the change, it’s time to include them in the transition. Asking for their ideas again – after they’ve had time to process a change – helps further. That’s because your employees are more likely to become invested and collaborative if they get the opportunity to think strategically and offer valuable input.

6. “Tell me how you’re feeling through this”

Check in on your people at various points in the change cycle. Remember, no two employees are alike in their pace of processing change. Someone who seemed open to the idea early on may struggle later, in the middle of the actual changes. That’s why it’s important to keep checking in, especially if you notice disheartened attitudes.

You can reach out to your whole group during team meetings and to individuals who seem to need it most during one-on-ones.

Dig deeper in these conversations by asking:

  • Are you experiencing any roadblocks?
  • How can I help you through this?

Mention any resources your organization provides that could help manage their stress and change fatigue, such as an employee assistance program.

7. “It’s time to join us”

Leaders sometimes run into an individual who won’t accept change and begins to take a disruptive stance against it. If a negative attitude becomes a performance issue, it may be time for a difficult conversation where you insist the employee finds a way to adjust and come along with the rest of the team.

Occasionally, the best choice for everyone might be for the employee to switch teams or otherwise part ways. But hopefully, you can avoid this outcome and even these conversations by leading and communicating well from the outset.

8. “We’ve gotten this far today”

Celebrate small achievements as your team works to adjust to or implement a change. Notice what has gone well, and bring their attention to it. Show gratitude for your team’s efforts and positivity.

Words of affirmation alone can lift employee spirits; allowing them to break for the day a few hours early or giving another small reward can show that you’re truly thankful for their contributions.

9. “Well done”

Affirm efforts along the way and celebrate in a big way when your team has brought you through an important change. Rewards could include public recognition, time off, extra help and more. The key to meaningful recognition is understanding what matters most to your team and giving them something that’s important to them.

Be gracious toward yourself, too

To have the emotional energy needed to take care of employees during seasons of change, leaders can’t neglect themselves in the process. Know your personal support system and reach out when your energy or enthusiasm wanes.

Keep reminding employees about how the changes will positively affect them, and show respect for each person’s unique response to the situation.

Source: Michelle Kankousky, Insperity

“Old ways won’t open new doors.” 
– Unknown

Did you know this about disc?

DiSC is an assessment that aids with effective communication

Applications
Catalyst offers a range of DiSC application content- including Workplace, Agile EQ, and Management- designed to help learners develop the social and emotional know-how for more effective interactions at work.

5 Essential Tips for Managing Poor Performance

5 essential tips for managing poor performance

While it may seem daunting and time-consuming, addressing poor performance is critical for building a high-performing team. Not only that, terminating an employee without proper consideration or due diligence can be a risky move for your business.

Recruiting, hiring, onboarding and training a new employee can be costly — and letting go of personnel is rarely easy for managers. It’s generally advisable to give employees plenty of time to improve while also providing the tools they need to grow. The goal is to get your employee to meet expectations instead of having to start over. That extra effort may prove fruitful, especially if the employee transforms their behavior.

1. Clearly communicate expectations

For every job, there should be a clear, detailed job description. If you don’t have anything formalized, you should start with outlining the functions and responsibilities of each role. You should also know what it takes for employees to be successful in each role, and it’s essential that your employees know this, too.

Don’t assume your employees can read your mind. Newly hired employees often have their own perspectives on expectations and standards, which don’t always align with what their new boss has in mind. Clearly defining each job makes it easier for them to understand what their new role requires of them – and to pinpoint and correct any problems.

Similarly, your progressive discipline policy should already be established and documented, outlining how discipline will take place should you need to go there. This helps ensure every issue is handled consistently and fairly.

2. Be a good coach

Rather than seeking to discipline them, aim to coach your employees, both new and existing, on a regular basis. This consists of giving informal feedback on what they’re doing right as well as what they need to improve. Think of a football coach: He gives praise for a good pass or a solid tackle, but he doesn’t hesitate to point out the missed catches and holes in the defense.

Without this feedback, you can’t expect your employees to know when they’re underperforming, until it’s too late and their poor performance has turned into a serious issue.

3. Write it down

Documentation is key. If you don’t write something down, it can be argued that it didn’t happen. Even informal conversations written in a notebook can be helpful and count toward documentation.

You’re probably thinking: Documentation takes time. Time you don’t have. That is understandable, however, writing things down will help should you have to defend any decisions down the road.

Here are some examples of important communications to collect:

  • Electronic communications
  • Phone conversations
  • One-on-one chats
  • Unprofessional or subpar behavior in group settings
  • Feedback and complaints from co-workers, managers or clients

4. Consider a performance improvement plan

Let’s say you’ve provided ongoing coaching, but you’re not seeing improvement, or you see some major concerns with performance that coaching has failed to improve. This would be a good time to develop a performance improvement plan (PIP).

Performance Improvement plans aren’t typically used for behavior issues or policy violations, but, rather, should be implemented to bridge a skills gap or point out where development is necessary. A PIP should articulate specifically what the problem areas are and give detailed goals for what the employee must do to correct these.

Here’s an example of a PIP:

“Sally Brown has been submitting reports with numerous grammatical, spelling and technical errors. As an effort to help her improve, within the next 30 days, Sally needs to complete Business Writing 101 as well as utilize grammar and spell-checking tools before submitting reports. Technical data should be reviewed by the engineering department. We will meet again next Tuesday to review progress.”

The timeline given for improvements should be reasonable. Some deficiencies are quicker to fix than others.

Finally, make sure your employee signs an acknowledgement form to confirm that they understand what’s expected of them.

5. Initiate Progressive Discipline

In situations where a policy is being violated, progressive discipline might be the better way to go. Use this option to address things such as attendance, communication and other behavioral issues. Progressive discipline generally starts with a verbal counseling, followed by written counseling, and then, depending on the situation, a final written warning or a suspension before moving to termination.

Here’s an example of how to word an attendance-focused counseling:

“Joe Smith has been late every Monday since the beginning of the year. Joe must arrive at work before the start of each work shift and clock in on or before his start time. He must promptly return from scheduled break times and work until the end of each shift. Improvement needs to be immediate, marked and sustained. Failure to improve punctuality issues and work all scheduled shifts in their entirety could result in discipline up to and including termination.”

If you conduct verbal counseling, send a follow-up email to your employee to document the conversation. The employee’s signature would not be required at this time, but it doesn’t hurt to obtain confirmation.

Written counseling is similar to the PIP in that it should clearly outline areas that the employee needs to correct. Again, in writing, detail specifically what you have observed that needs to improve and how this should be accomplished.

In addition, the written counseling document should make clear that improvement needs to be immediate marked and sustained.

Employees should sign this form after you’ve discussed it with them. This doesn’t mean they have to agree with what you’ve documented; their signature simply indicates that they’ve received the counseling statement.

Source: Dawn Motsiff, Insperity

“I learned to always take on things I’d never done before. Growth and comfort do not coexist” 
– Ginni Rometty

Did you know this about disc?

DiSC is an assessment that aids with effective communication

8 Tips to Help Employees Practice Empathy at Work

8 tips to practice empathy at work

So, what does it actually look like for employees to practice empathy with each other? Here are some easy ways to incorporate empathy into a daily routine.

1. Assume best intentions of others

When we don’t understand someone’s perspective, it can be easy to assume the worst about them. However, this mindset allows negativity and potentially inaccurate biases to flourish and can destroy relationships.

Instead, approach each interaction with team members with a positive view. There may very well be more to the story underlying their behavior that you don’t yet know.

2. Listen more than you speak

When a team member discusses a challenge they’re experiencing, don’t interrupt them with tales of how you experienced something similar or offer unsolicited advice for what you think they should do. Sometimes, people just want to be heard and understood.

In these moments, practice active listening skills, which involves:

  • Focusing on what is being said
  • Making eye contact
  • Acknowledging what someone has said by repeating it back or requesting clarification on certain points
  • Avoiding nonverbal communication that could convey a lack of interest, such as fidgeting
  • Minimizing distractions

3. Ask questions

Don’t rely on your assumptions about a situation. Respectfully and thoughtfully ask team members questions so you can better understand the challenge they’re facing or their perspective on an issue.

4. Validate others’ feelings

Show that you recognize and understand what others are feeling, which is a critical part of conveying nonjudgment and building trust. You can say things like, “I’m sorry you’re experiencing this problem. I’m sure it must be so frustratingI appreciate your letting me know what’s going on.”

5. Step outside your comfort zone

Your biases can impact how you perceive others, especially those team members of different backgrounds and experiences. Remember: Different doesn’t equate with wrong or bad. To be more empathetic, you may just need to open yourself up to new experiences and broaden your way of thinking.

  • Be open to meeting new people in the office – even seeking out people who are different from you.
  • Consider others’ ideas and learn from them.
  • Challenge your own biases.

This can encourage diversity of thought as well as inclusion in the workplace.

6. Offer to help

One of the questions you should ask a team member who’s struggling is, “How can I help you?” For example, if they’re overwhelmed with their current workload, you could take some responsibilities off their plate or volunteer to serve as their back-up. This also demonstrates that you’re a team player.

7. Recognize others’ accomplishments or strengths

When people feel valued, it can help them overcome a challenge or setback. To remind team members of their worth, use peer recognition. Call them out in front of others for their:

  • Talents they bring to the table
  • Goals they’ve met
  • Achievements they’ve secured
  • Hard work

8. Take care of yourself

You can’t be empathetic to others if you’re stressed out, in a negative mindset and not taking care of yourself. Prioritize your wellbeing and work-life balance so you’re most likely to engage team members in a respectful and productive way.

Source: Kimberly J. Shaw, Insperity

“Like many things in life, your compassion is a skill that can be exercised.”
– Simeon Lindstrom

Did you know this about disc?

DiSC is an assessment that aids with effective communication

DiSC Management

Management on Catalyst uses Everything DiSC to provide insights about an individual’s personal management style while also providing tips on how to improve the following management specific skillsets:

  1. Directing & delegating
  2. Creating a motivating environment
  3. Developing talent
  4. Managing up

Everything DiSC Management on Catalyst will guide managers with specific tips on how to perform these tasks with anyone on their team. The DiSC Management tips on Catalyst are unique because all of the information is personalized to the user. The insights provided are dynamically customized based on a user’s personality style.

Simple Ways to Show Appreciation at Work

Simple ways to show appreciation at work 

Similar to trust, appreciation is relationship-based — each interaction with someone strengthens or weakens that invisible connection. The more we feel appreciated, the stronger those bonds become, and the more tension they can withstand when something challenges it. Consequently, knowing how to build and maintain relationships where people feel appreciated is a foundational skill — one that’s important to learn from the very early stages of your career.

While appreciation is something you can express, it’s also something you can show through your actions and behaviors. If you – as a manager or an individual contributor — want to build the kind of relationships where people feel valued, communication flows, and great work gets done, it’s important to expand your understanding of appreciation beyond verbal expressions and learn to show people you value them as well.

Show your appreciation for people’s presence.

To feel a sense of belonging, people must know that others care that they are there. Sure, we all get paid to show up to our jobs every day. But the reality is that our peers and direct reports could choose to work elsewhere. Letting someone know their presence is having an impact on you or the organization can make a big difference. Managers and individual contributors alike can share this appreciation with the following actions:

  • Although it sounds like basic decency, greet people when they arrive at the office or join a meeting, and say goodbye when they leave.
  • Notice when people are missing at work and reach out: “I haven’t seen you at work for three days. Just checking in to make sure you’re okay?”
  • If people work late or cover for you or others, notice and acknowledge what they are doing. Bring them a cup of coffee and let them know you are ready to cover for them in the future.
  • Even if it is people’s job to be there, thank them for coming. 

Show your appreciation of people’s ideas and contributions.

Creating a psychologically safe environment where people openly share ideas and speak up when there is a problem is everyone’s job. Managers and individual contributors alike need to show colleagues that their input is welcome and celebrated.

Leaders can role model how to treat one another by actively seeking and amplifying other people’s ideas, and individual contributors can do the same with their peers. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Managers

  • Nurture a culture of sharing ideas by asking for employee input in each staff meeting.
  • Honor people’s ideas and expertise by talking them up in senior leader meetings: “Maria is actually the one who came up with the idea for this project and has been leading the team to make the result happen!”
  • In meetings, ask quiet, less vocal team members to share input or ideas on projects: “Keshia, what do you think about this? I would love to hear your ideas on the project.”

Individual Contributor

  • When people share input or feedback on a project, whether you like their idea or not, actively listen. Nod along, ask questions, and thank them for sharing.
  • When working on a project, ask others for feedback and ideas on how to improve.
  • Adopt a “Yes, and” mentality when it comes to other people’s ideas. Instead of saying “I disagree,” say, “Yes, and what about…?” and share another idea or addition to their idea.
  • When someone has a great idea that people did not hear, bring it to the attention of others: “I want to bring the attention back to an idea Ethan shared earlier. Ethan, would you mind repeating?”
  • If someone gives you credit for another person’s ideas, direct their praise to the correct person: “Thank you for noticing, but that was all John’s idea! Make sure you let him know, he will love to know you feel this way!”

Show your appreciation of people’s lives outside of work.

Our jobs should help us live our best lives, not take them over. For our employees to feel appreciated, they need to know that we understand their passions, priorities, and responsibilities outside of work.

People need leaders who respect boundaries and role model self care, and coworkers who nurture a culture of support. Here are a few ideas. 

Managers

  • In order to appreciate people’s lives outside of work, you need to know about them. Take the time to ask about your direct reports’ weekends, holidays, and hobbies outside of work. Learn about their families, kids, and what they do for fun.
  • Display work-life balance by having a life outside of work yourself. For example, leave work to go to your kids’ events to show others that balance is encouraged.
  • Avoid scheduling meetings before 9 am and after 5 pm so people are not forced to choose between making the boss happy and living their lives.
  • Avoid sending emails on weekends, late at night, and on vacations.
  • If someone has a major life change — like getting married, having a child, losing a loved one, having surgery, or going through a divorce — ask how you and the team can best support them. Put a note in your calendar to check in a month later. It can make a world of difference to your colleague that you remember.
  • Before making a request at 5 pm on a Friday, think about how the request may impact your employee’s life outside of work. If it can wait until Monday, let it. 

Individual Contributor

  • One of the best ways to support people’s lives outside of work is to always keep them in mind when you’re at work. Every time we fail to deliver on time, show up, or do our tasks, it has an impact on others. When we don’t do our work to the best of our abilities, it means someone else’s work is impacted. The best way to respect people’s lives outside of work is to honor and respect their time at work. Be an extraordinary coworker.
  • Take time to understand your coworkers’ lives outside of work. Ask them about their families, hobbies, and how they spend their time.
  • Nurture a community of support in your office by stepping up for each other when one of you goes on vacation, has a doctor’s appointment, or needs to attend an important event.

Show your appreciation of people’s need for growth and development.

One of the main reasons employees give for leaving jobs is a lack of development opportunities. While many people think development is about promotions and attending trainings, it’s also about being around people who challenge us — managers that take time to understand and support our career goals, and coworkers who help us learn and grow. Give the following a try.

Managers

  • If you don’t already know the career goals and aspirations of your direct reports, take time to understand them. Learn about what skills they want to develop and the kinds of projects they want to be working on. What topics are interesting to them and what kind of role do they see themselves in in five years?
  • Once you know people’s goals, actively find opportunities that can help them develop those skills through stretch assignments, job shadowing, conferences, internal presentations, or challenging projects. Be sure to debrief and help the person link the skills they are developing to the assignment they’re working on.
  • Have regular “stay conversations” to make sure your direct reports feel fulfilled at work and that they are learning and growing in their roles.
  • If your employee has the desire to go back to school or earn professional certification, find ways to help them carve time out in their schedule to take classes.
  • If someone is excelling in their position, and there is no room to move up in your company, help them explore opportunities at other companies. Let them know you will be their reference if they find an opportunity for growth outside of your organization.

Individual Contributor

  • Ask your coworkers for feedback and tips on how you can improve and invite them to do the same with you: “Maria, thank for attending my presentation I would love you’re your input. What are one or two things could I do next time to improve?”
  • Take time to learn about the career goals of the people on your team and find ways to support them to work toward them: “Jon, I am curious what are some of your career goals? Is there anything I can do to support you with the experience and knowledge I have?
  • If you hear about learning opportunities or networking events, or find interesting articles they may help your coworker, share them.
  • When a colleague gets a promotion, celebrate with them. “Hey Vas, I just saw the announcement you were promoted! It made my day to see and just wanted you to know I excited for you.”

Source: Christopher Littlefield, Harvard Business Review

“Everyone wants to be appreciated, so if you appreciate someone, don’t keep it a secret”. 
– Mary Kay Ash

Did you know this about disc?

DiSC is an assessment that aids with effective communication

Your Group

This fun, interactive feature helps teams work better together. By combining DiSC with actionable group insights, teams build cohesion while adapting their behaviors for optimal performance. Learners can create multiple groups, plot members on a DiSC map, and shed light on team dynamics that influence results.

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.