5 steps for building trust in the workplace

Published by Charlotte Hills on

5 steps for building trust in the workplace

Table of contents

Building trust in the workplace is critical to building a successful company. It is important that employees have trust in all aspects of their working lives. They want to feel trusted, and have faith that their company will support them.

As workplaces have become more flexible than ever before, employees’ expectations have risen. Flexibility and benefits are beneficial. However, safety and support are a priority.

Around 50% of employees say that they don’t trust their HR department. Consider what you can do to aid employees in their professional lives, and rebuild their trust.

A Harvard Business Review survey found that employees who felt leaders treated them with respect and trust were 63% more satisfied with their jobs, 55% more engaged and 100% more likely to stay with the organization. But when you’re dealing with feelings it can be tricky. How can you make employees feel that way? The answer is to build a trusting environment from the ground up.

Step 1: feedback

Feedback on work is important. Managers give feedback to their employees every day. It helps improve processes and develops your employees’ abilities. 

However, your employees need to feel that their opinions are valued too. They spend every day at work. They want to have a voice on things that affect them. 

It is important to listen carefully, and then follow up consistently. Employees need to see their feedback in action. This builds trust that their concerns are heard, and will encourage them to continue open discussions.


Step 2: training

Your employees will have their sights set on bigger things. You need to help them achieve this. If they cannot grow within your company, then they will search for growth options elsewhere.

Ensure regular training is on offer. Check in with them to find out what information would help them do their job better. 

Offering them the opportunity to undergo training demonstrates your belief in their ability to develop. They know that you trust them to continue providing improved work.

Training needs to be seen as more than a “one and done” or once every year or so exercise. The best work environments continually train their employees to remind them of processes, grow their skill sets or bring them up to speed on new products, regulations or offers.

Step 3: be open

Your employees aren’t just employees, they are people. We all juggle different parts of our lives. Sometimes, things go wrong that are out of our control.

Foster an open and honest environment. Your employees should feel comfortable coming to you with any problems, whether they are at work or out of work issues.

By being honest, you will encourage them to engage with you, and trust that you are there to support them.

Step 4: appreciation

Everyone likes a little compliment every now and then. Verbal appreciation builds confidence. By complimenting a good piece of work, your employees will feel more secure in their role. This breeds a positive environment.

Whilst verbal praise is good, it is also beneficial to make positive gestures. Consider a rewards program or bonuses. This provides your employees with something to strive for. 

By providing recognition, your employees will trust that their contributions are valued. This encourages engagement and development in the workplace.

Step 5: trust & empower them

Many good managers have fallen into the habit of micromanaging at least once. If you want to build trust in the workplace, try to discourage this approach. 

Deadlines and check-ins are useful, but let them approach you for any questions if they need to. They were hired for a reason, so give employees the opportunity to show that they are capable.

Employees that feel trusted are likely to be more productive. Provide them with your faith, and they can give you their trust in return.

empowered training

Positive work environment

Research suggests that employees that work for high-trust companies enjoy their jobs 60% more.

Research was undertaken by the American neuroeconomist Paul J Zak found that when people have higher levels of oxytocin (sometimes called the feel-good chemical) they are more likely to trust others. Put another way, people who are happy and rewarded are more open to trusting others.  

Encouraging a positive work environment can increase engagement, productivity and employee retention. Employees are asking more from their workplaces, as more companies are aiming to provide a good work-life balance. Consider what you can do to improve relationships with your workforce.

At BAD, we provide digital solutions to develop your workforces’ skills and improve engagement. Contact us today to discuss how we can enhance your business.

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