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Building a Culture of Trust in the Workplace

Building a Culture of Trust in the Workplace

Read these 4 tips to help create, nurture, and keep it

Trust is a pretty tricky thing. Sometimes building it and learning to rely on others is hard. Whether you’re the manager of a workplace, an employee, or even if you’re just someone who is trying to forge relationships with other humans, trust is something that’s earned — not handed out on every corner along with a free book of coupons.

No matter who you are or where you’re from, you’ll never regret taking the time to create this essential value in your workplace. Here are some tips to help you build a lasting culture of trust:

1. Validate your employees’ fear of past experiences

Let’s be honest: unless you’re hiring high schoolers and college kids just out of the gate, your employees aren’t starting with an entirely clean slate. They’ve worked other places before and they’ve probably been promised certain things but were let down when they didn’t happen. And then what happened? They lost respect for management because of shady, misinformed, or otherwise unprofessional decisions. Thanks a lot, bad boss! But what can you do about it?

Empathize with their bad experiences (after all, it’s probably happened to you, too). If applicable, address the fact that you understand that other managers may have broken their trust.

Once you’ve met these issues head on, your employees will understand that you know where they’re coming from and they’ll be much more likely to open up around you. This is especially effective once you prove that you aren’t a bad manager — and you clearly care about your employees and improving your workplace if you’re reading a post like this!

2. Authenticity is critical.

It’s 2016, not the 1950s. We don’t need to work under a veneer of perfection and pretention any more. Your employees don’t want the world promised to them on a gold platter, only to have it later paired with a side of overtime or other unexpected demands. As an employer, you need to be straightforward and honest with your workers about everything: expectations, intentions, and ultimate goals. 

Doing this will let them see where you’re coming from with any requests or critiques, and it gives them a good launching pad for where or how to begin their next project. Your employees crave an open and authentic environment.

Why do you think some of the biggest startups have an open wave of communication surrounding salaries? (We’re looking at you, Buffer!) Because transparency says a lot about your workplace culture. And don’t worry, that’s a good thing — it’s the principle of not saying anything you wouldn’t say to another colleague’s face. 

3. Once you build that trust, don’t break it

We get it. Some employees are naturally going to be more trustworthy than others — and sometimes, certain individuals need to be removed from the equation to make things in the workplace authentic. But don’t proclaim that everyone in the office is part of a giant, happy family at your staff meeting if you’re planning on firing one of them in the next couple of weeks. The things that you say and promise to your employees have an effect on them, and they’ll remember the times you go back on your word. Do your best to not let something like that happen. 

4. Keep showing your employees they are valued. They’ll notice!

Just like every person has his or her own unique personality, every company has a distinct culture created by a combination of elements, including its founders, its age and heritage, its style of work, and its place in the industry. But one thing that all successful workplaces share is that good and engaged employees know that they are valued. Don’t miss an opportunity to let your people know when they are meeting or exceeding your expectations.

Yeh IDeology connects the right talent with the right culture by carefully evaluating each candidate’s character, skill set, and experience level, and matching select individuals to companies where both will thrive.

We’re proud of the connections we help create, through the client-candidate introduction to offer and acceptance. Our searches range from entry-level openings to top executive and director positions, and we work hard to fill the job correctly each step of the way. Sound like the missing link in your hiring and recruiting process? Contact us today!