Management Matters

Keys To Building Trust Between Managers & Employees

Date Posted: 09/14/2015

Trust and a positive working relationship between managers and employees are the main components of a strong organizational structure.  Employees rely on their managers for career development and guidance on how to improve their skills and work performance.  Managers must earn trust from their employees to inspire teamwork and cooperation that is based on the fundamental principles of loyalty, motivation and candor.

Trust is the key factor in having a positive and successful employee-manager relationship. The level of trust can make or break a team or affect an employee’s performance and development within the company.  One word or one conversation can break trust while it takes multiple conversations and consistent action and time to rebuild trust with your employees.
Building trust is worth the effort because once trust is lost, it is very difficult to rebuild.  Here are some keys on how to build trust between managers and employees.

As a manager, one of the most effective trust-building strategies is the ability to communicate across all levels of staff and getting to know the people on your team directly or indirectly is very important. Even if you are busy, make it a point to communicate with your team members and be approachable.

Listening to your staff’s feelings and ideas is another way to promote effective communication among staff. Giving your employees a chance to speak and be heard is proof that you acknowledge their feelings and opinions. Be a good listener and do not interrupt which will only prompt a negative emotion.  Also refrain from the common practice of hearing a few words and then jumping to a conclusion.

If you say or promise something, commit to it and deliver. How can you expect your employees to trust you if you don’t fulfill your commitments?  Just as you expect your employees to deliver on their promises, they expect the same from you!

Always speak and act in a way that is genuine, authentic and comfortable.  Share as much as you can about the current health and future growth of the company.  Even if the company is experiencing difficulties, be transparent and tell the truth to all employees involved. Understand what employees need to know and communicate facts to them while considering their feelings.  Rumor mills cause negativity and lack of trust in the management.

Limit Sermons
As managers, you should motivate employees to think and act freely and not having them do exactly what you tell them to do.  Having faith that they can do their job well in their own way is one way to build trust.  Even if employees make mistakes, be considerate and show support and understanding.

Many managers refuse to delegate to others because they feel it takes too much time and effort and they could do the job better themselves.  Effective managers know how to delegate tasks and not end up doing everything themselves. Holding on to tasks can deprive your employees of an opportunity to develop their skills and grow. Allowing them to learn and advance their skills is a way to build trust in themselves.  Effective delegation to others is perhaps the single most powerful high level activity there is.

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Being true to your word and having a good reputation of getting things done can earn your employees’ respect. Credible managers are consistent in achieving results and building relationships within the team. This type of manager also serves as a good mentor and inspires the team to follow their example.

Manage Conflicts
An ability to manage and solve problems with transparency is another way to build trust. Good managers make good recommendations and offer solutions to address problems quickly and view conflicts as an opportunity and a powerful learning moment for everyone.

Take blame but give credit
The best way to earn people’s trust is to give credit.  This reinforces the sense that people are working towards shared goals rather than for a manager’s own agenda.  One of the great truths of management is that: if your team fails, it’s your fault; if your team succeeds, it’s the team’s achievement.

Personal connection
Creating a personal connection with your employees helps in getting their trust. Getting to know them well by sharing information about family, home and other personal matters thru small chats during your free time shows that even if you are a manager you blend in with your team.

Working in a constant changing environment, with people from different backgrounds and personalities is really a big challenge. Without trust in the workplace, it can lead to employee‘s low morale and high turnover.

A lack of trust between managers and employees can also have distressing effects on an organization.  Employees are more likely to feel indifferent about their jobs and feel less incentive to work hard and contribute to the success of the company if there is no trust.  Therefore, earning the trust of your employees is one of the most important parts of a manager’s role and is vital to being an effective manager.

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