Trust in every organization is like a muscle—build it, and in time, you will begin to see positive results. A good leader knows that trust is the most valuable currency in team building and uses it to hire and train the best people.
But unfortunately, trust is not felt or expressed in every workplace. In a 2016 “Trust Barometer” survey released by Edelman, the results from 33,000 people in 28 countries revealed that one in three people do not trust their employer.
This is a big problem! And leaders especially must pay close attention to remedy this problem if it’s affecting one of your teams. Here are some helpful recommendations to increase trust in your organization.
1. Love people well
For trust to thrive in a team setting, the first lesson for every leader is to love people well. Author Michael Hyatt understood exactly how this works when he said: “Nothing builds trust like love. What does love have to do with the workplace? Everything.”
We have been conditioned to believe that the workplace and emotions do not equate—that showing our “human” side appears as weak and unprofessional. But that couldn’t be more wrong! In fact, by showing a little compassion and building genuine connections in the workplace, you have the potential to significantly increase the level of trust your employees feel toward you.
Start to host a social hour once a month at the office with the express purpose of spoiling your staff and giving them the chance to get to know one another, and their leadership, in a more casual context.
Leaders often underestimate how intimidating it is to interact with a CEO or president who attends meetings or sits behind a desk all day. Stand up and start socializing. See how you can help someone in your workplace and don’t be afraid to get a little more casual with those you lead. They will begin to see just how much you care with these small steps.
2. Practice over-communication
Good leaders understand that the best communication is not in the volume of things said, but in the quality of what is communicated. While this is true, one of the best ways to ensure clarity in your communication is to share the vision with others as often as possible.
Don’t assume that someone has “caught the vision” of what you want from a project or task after talking about it in a rushed meeting. Do regular check-ins with those you manage. Make yourself available for questions. Put your company vision on your website, on the walls of the office, on your business cards, and in your presentations. Make it unmissable, and people will jump on board.
People don’t trust what they can’t see. When the waters are being muddied, teams will lose trust in leadership as a whole. A lack of clear communication undermines leadership. Spend time talking about the highlights of where you are headed as a team and open the floor up to questions. When clarity is king - trust prevails.
3. Respect people’s time
Be on time. As leader, I know how difficult it is when your schedule is crammed full of meetings, a dozen people are waiting for your approval on urgent items, and emails are piling up in your inbox. I know it’s difficult, but again, I cannot emphasize enough how important this is. Being on time communicates not only respect for others, but respect for yourself as a leader, the position you hold, and the company you represent.
When you are consistently late or always seem to be playing Tetris with your schedule by changing things around at the last second, you will lose credibility with your team and others. Consistency communicates character. Be consistent, and you will earn the respect you desire. Good leaders arrive early. They show up prepared and keep their word.
To your excellence in building your team’s trust,