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Leadership Development Blog

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10 Tips For Developing Employees You Can Trust

Posted by Paul O'Keefe on Feb 18, 2016 5:20:23 PM

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Having trustworthy employees is an often overlooked quality of successful, highly productive workforces. The difference between having to rely on an employee you trust and one you don’t trust can have an incredible impact on how well your business operates. With trustworthy employees, you can focus on other (more important) tasks without having to worry about whether or not the job is getting done. But if you don’t fully trust an employee, you’ll have a hard time truly focusing your efforts elsewhere without feeling the need to check in (and rightfully so). But, just because you aren’t 100% confident in all of your employees now, it doesn’t mean you can’t develop more trusting relationships within your company

Developing trust within the workplace isn’t just a one way street either. It’s also important to establish trust from your employees.

DID YOU KNOW: 25% of employees don’t trust their bosses. (Inc.com)

It’s especially hard for employees to be loyal and trustworthy when they don’t have confidence in their superiors. Gaining that confidence from employees is an important part of the trust-building process. You’ll discover that once you have established trust with them, they will be more willing to fill their role and gain your trust.

Developing employees you can trust takes work. Here are 10 essential tips that will get you started and improve your company’s productivity, atmosphere, and overall health.

 

  1. Empower Your Employees

Empowering your employees means giving each person a meaningful role. In doing so, every employee will feel responsible for getting their respective job done and for assessing results. Just make sure the tasks you assign to each employee are in line with their core competencies.

This doesn’t mean you have no control. In fact, there can’t be a delegation of responsibility without control. The essence of this is to give your employees the opportunity to have a feeling of ownership for their goals and accountability for outcomes. Employees respond more constructively to being trusted and are more inspired to accomplish objectives when it becomes a personal challenge in which they’re personally responsible for results.

 

  1. You Have To Walk The Talk

Being able to motivate and lead in conversation is great, but you must be able to back that talk up with action. When it comes to developing employee trust, you must demonstrate that you can keep your word. It’s very easy for your employees to lose faith and get demoralized when there’s a gap between your “talk” and “walk.”

Another problem with not walking the talk is that employees are likely to adopt the same behavior. Normally, the manager’s behavior sets the precedence of acceptable behavior within an organization. In fact, employees often don’t notice the big things but see the “small details.” So, if you say you’re going to do something, be prepared to do it.

 

  1. Honesty Is The Best Policy

Does anyone really trust a know-it-all? If you want to cultivate trustworthiness among your employees, you have to acknowledge that you don’t have the answers for absolutely everything. Nothing builds trust more than a manager admitting he doesn’t know, but will find out and ensure that everyone is informed. It can be very damaging when you pretend to know something and end up providing faulty information. And by being honest, you may even find that others are willing to pitch in and help.

 

  1. Don’t Stand In The Way

As a manager or business owner, it’s easy to feel like you need to step in whenever something isn’t going just right. But once you empower your employees, you have to learn to get out of the way and let them fill their roles. If something doesn’t work, don’t be tempted to step in and act on behalf of the employee who is responsible for the task. Unless completely necessary, don’t withdraw a responsibility or short-circuit employees by acting in their place. Doing so will demotivate your employees and they’ll feel like they don’t actually have responsibility for that task.

 

  1. Let Employees Learn Through Failure

You need to realize that an employee who is afraid to make mistakes will never take risks. You know what this means to your business: It won’t grow! When things go wrong, avoid coming down so hard on your employees that they get scared of thinking on their own. When you let employees learn to solve problems on their own, you’ll provide them with more knowledge and power for future tasks and also strengthen your own confidence in them.

 

  1. Be Loyal To Gain Loyalty

Illustrating loyalty from the upper management down to employees is among the best ways to develop employee trust in any organization. You should always give credit and recognition to your employees when a project is successfully accomplished, and take some responsibility when it fails. Showing loyalty when you find yourself in a difficult situation will go a long way for cultivating trust from your employees.

 

  1. Encourage Positive And Negative Feedback

At times, employees are reluctant to speak up about various issues unless they’re prompted. Consider canvassing for opinions on issues concerning support, training, and more. Likewise, maintain an open-door policy. This will let your employees know that you’re ready to listen to their ideas and concerns and help offer solutions to any problems. This approach is effective in developing employee loyalty and trust as they become more open to you. Just make sure you’re as receptive to negative feedback as you are to positive feedback; after all, it’s the negative feedback that will highlight room for improvement.

 

  1. Give and Expect Respect

You should realize that respect is a two-way street. Thus, when you demand it of your employees, be sure to reciprocate. You don’t want them to brand you as being fake. In that regard, everything you do–good or bad–must always be genuine. Give your employees, including their suggestions and personal lives, the respect they deserve, and you won’t have to wrestle respect from them; they’ll automatically respect you.

Note: Giving respect to employees doesn’t mean you are letting them get away with things or that you’re not authoritative. If an employee is out of line, don’t shy away from addressing it because you’re afraid of being disrespectful.

 

  1. Develop An Environment of Constant Learning

Encourage your employees to explore new techniques for achieving their individual objectives as well as those set by the company. As you allow them to make mistakes and learn from them, ensure that you also reward fresh and innovative ideas. Of course, it’s important to manage the amount of mistakes that are made so that the job is still getting done satisfactorily. The goal is to strike a balance that allows your employees to effectively get their job done while giving them the freedom to discover new methods that could lead to improvements. When you establish this type of atmosphere, you’ll find that your workplace will improve more rapidly because individuals are discovering their best systems and everyone is constantly contributing to the improvement of the company’s system.

 

  1. Communicate Effectively

In the spirit of developing employees you can trust, you must support both top-down and bottom-up communication. Likewise, you have to ensure that everyone understands your organization’s mission. When your employees clearly understand what’s expected of them, you can trust them to steer your business to success. When employees are not sure what you’re saying, they won’t be as capable of fulfilling their duties and contributing to the organization. Whatever message you’re trying to send, make sure that it is clear for all recipients.

 

Use These Guidelines To Develop Employees You Can Trust

Trust is the most valuable asset in a relationship, but it can be hard to develop and easy to lose. However, with the right system in place it becomes much easier to develop and nurture employees for long-lasting relationships built on trust. After all, if your employees don’t trust you, how is your company supposed to succeed and be profitable in the future.

To learn more about the benefits of employee development, contact Edge Training at 800-305-2025.

Topics: Employee Development

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