A manager’s job is to inspire the team to achieve lasting results. In most cases, this is easier said than done. Earning employees’ trust is one of the most important tasks for every manager. Those who tried to earn their respect with fear, have always failed and shown mediocre results. That is why trust between employees and their superiors is the basis of every successful business.
If you are assigned to the new team, you might have problems with getting on the same page with your employees. To ensure that the team is productive and all the business goals are achieved, you need to start building the trust from day one. Apart from traditional ways described in the BA textbooks, there are also many new and innovative ways that will help you reach this goal. In this article, we’ll describe both traditional leadership traits and new trust-building tricks that are predominantly used within the startup culture.
Always be honest
Last year’s the Harris Allied Research Annual Talent Acquisition & Retention Survey has discovered that more than 18% of CEOs are concerned about employee retention. The survey has also proved that “More effectively communicating a company’s plan for future growth has become an important strategy for attracting and retaining talent in 2016.” Honesty and transparency are the most important preconditions for building employees’ trust. Bad managers often lie to their employees, just to get things done. This can drastically hurt employees’ self-esteem and make them question managers’ future decisions and promises. People would rather hear the hard truth than a nice lie. That’s why honesty allows you to connect with employees on a meaningful level, even when the situation is bad.
Empathize with your employees
One of the reasons why employees who were promoted to a manager’s position are better leaders than the fresh MBA graduates is because they can observe the problem from the employees’ perspective. A true leader always looks at the problem from many different angles, before making a decision. Putting yourself in employees’ shoes will help you understand the work process better.
Good leaders understand that there are many outside factors that shape employees’ work performance. Simply, you can’t treat your team members as if they were obedient machines because we are all struggling with problems on different fronts. The best method for building trust among employees is to show them that you understand their trials and tribulations and that they can always come to you with a problem or an idea.
Always keep your promises
For good leaders, their word is their bond. If you have promised something to your team, you should do your best to fulfill it. This is very important, especially if you have promised them a raise, bonus or some other similar incentive. If you fail to fulfill your promise, go back to the first paragraph – meaning: be truthful to your team and admit your mistakes. They won’t blame you because everybody can make a bad assessment from time to time. In fact, your team will probably be grateful for your honesty and they will become even more trustful.
Know your work
Managers should always know every detail about the projects they are running. A leadership position requires you to know and understand the job of every employee. Managers who don’t have the expert knowledge aside from the things they’ve learned in the business college are usually considered incompetent.
It’s very hard for employees to develop a trustful relationship with this type of superiors. There are also people who can use your lack of knowledge for their benefit. You can find them on every team, but also inside the company’s management board. That’s why learning the basics of the production, service or administration tasks your team is running will improve your leadership and earn you more trust at all levels of the company’s hierarchy. You should also follow the latest industry trends and try to implement them in the projects you’re managing.
Aon Hewitt’s survey from 2012 that deals with trends in employee engagement has discovered that “Career opportunities, recognition, and organization reputation are the top employee engagement drivers.” Not a lot of things have changed in this area in the last five years, and that’s why you should always reward employees for the good work they’ve done. Sometimes you can do this by thanking them in front of the collective or proposing to the upper management to give them a promotion or a raise. This way your employees will feel appreciated and worthy, and they will also show the respect for the job you are doing.
If your employees did a great work, you could also show them your gratitude with a present or incentive. Bonuses are great for showing appreciation, but giving out money is not always the best solution for improving employees’ trust. For example, you can offer a day off to the most dedicated team members, make their work time more flexible, provide them with fitness memberships or reward with corporate gift cards. The key for showing appreciation to the agilest team members requires through observation of their work, needs, and wishes. You will find the best rewards for each employee if you know them really well.
Set example by going first
Good leaders should be role models to other team members. The best way to improve the level of ability and dedication within the team is to show employees the enormous effort you invest in your work, on a daily basis. If the manager is lazy and uninterested, employees won’t act much differently. Setting good examples is also important for building trust among your team. Employees would rather rely on managers who do their jobs responsibly and with care.
If you want to build trust among your team, you should offer the same level of trust to every employee. Many bad managers think that employees are slacking behind their backs. This raises distrust within the team, and constant checks make employees nervous and under the pressure. So, don’t question every word your employees tell you. Learn how to trust them and rely on them in difficult situations. This will help you build mutual trust between you and your employees that will drastically increase the team’s productivity and output.
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Author Bio: Emma Miller is a Sydney based writer with a degree in marketing. Interested in digital marketing, social media, start-ups and latest trends. She’s a contributor at Bizzmark blog.