Do your employees trust you?
“All I’m asking is for a little respect. R. E.S.P.E.C.T.”
Aretha Franklin isn’t the only one wanting and deserving respect, but how easy is it to get and to maintain in the crazed world of work today?
In a recent study conducted between managers and their employees, it was revealed that 54% of participants thought the most important element of a successful working relationship is trust. Without trust you have zip.
So how do you go about gaining the trust of your employees?
Rebecca Heaslip is an Executive Coach and founder of Leadership Insight in Toronto and spoke with us about the tricky trust issues that come up at work.
Here are her 5 tips for building trust between you and your employees:
1. Spend the time. Meet often one-on-one so each employee feels valued. These meetings are not to talk about performance and tasks, but about the employee’s passions, goals and their career path. Time is a valuable commodity in the workplace for everyone, but when you build those bridges the team always benefits.
2. Be a good role model. Hold the mirror and take a close look at your own communication strategy or behaviour. Get and keep a positive attitude, and match your language with that. “No problem” is not positive—but “with pleasure” or “happy to help” is positive communication. Employees look to their managers to see how they should behave. Everything from the condition in which you keep your car and how punctual you are is a benchmark by which you are measured.
3. Raise your emotional intelligence. Your emotional intelligence has nothing to do with hugging trees or having Kleenex on your desk. One aspect of EI involves empathy, and showing you care about your staff in ways that are individually meaningful to each person. Some employees want to be asked about their kids and others about the course they are taking outside the office. Be understanding about sick parents, children’s’ activities or vacations. The people within your company make up your company. The bottom line is not what it is all about all the time.
4. Deliver critical feedback in private. Feedback should be about the problem, not about the individual. Take the emotion out of the delivery and stick to the facts of the matter. Discuss how the activity or situation impacted the team and that person. Rebecca recommends you say, “I observed” as opposed to “You did this and this…” Use the assertive “I” word, not the aggressive “you”.
5. Follow through on promises and commitments. Do what you say you’re going to do or don’t say anything in the first place. If you drop the ball, admit it, apologize, explain what happened and rectify it. You can’t keep breaking promises or making mistakes with employees and asking for forgiveness (even if you are a nice guy.)
Low trust or a lack of trust destroys employee initiative, engagement and morale. However, once a deep trust is established, performance and engagement can reach new heights! Go to www.theconfidentcoach.com to take a little quiz to heighten your awareness of how your actions influence your relationships with others.
Career Specialist and Corporate Trainer
Category: Recruiting and managing