5 Ways to Build Trust With Employees

You have a great team of employees, but if you’re being honest, something is missing. While you get along well enough with your staff, you don’t feel like they entirely trust you.

Whether you’re new on the job and haven’t had the chance to bond with them or something happened in the past that caused you to lose their confidence, something has to change. Trust is essential for many reasons, including increasing retention rates, motivating employees, reducing stress, and creating a solid sense of company pride.

Here are a few actions you can take to help your team have faith in you.

Be Honest

It’s hard to trust a boss who lies to you or otherwise evades the truth. Therefore, it’s important to always be straightforward with your team, even when the message you have to relay isn’t exactly positive. Your employees are adults who can handle anything thrown their way, so show them the respect they deserve by — promptly — giving them the whole truth all the time.

Make Employees Feel Appreciated

No one wants to work for a boss who barely notices their contributions. Your employees don’t need constant praise, but it’s important to call out their efforts when they exceed expectations. If you don’t, they’ll feel invisible, which will cultivate feelings of resentment. Showing them you’re paying attention to their work and being proud of them will make them feel valued, fostering trust.

Request Feedback and Use It

You’re the boss, but that doesn’t mean you know everything. Asking your employees for feedback is important because it allows you to see things from a different perspective. While you don’t need to implement all their suggestions, people will feel like you don’t care if you rarely — or never — make suggested changes. Executing their ideas will make them feel included, giving them a sense of belonging.

Believe in Your People

No one wants a boss who doesn’t have confidence in them. Show employees you believe in them by giving them challenging projects and working independently — i.e., without you hovering over their shoulders. If you trust your people, they’ll give the same trust back.

Sharpen Your Listening Skills

Employees want a boss who makes them feel heard. Make it clear they’re your top priority by stopping what you’re doing and listening when they talk to you. It’s hard to trust a manager who is never engaged in the conversation, so practice active listening techniques — i.e., asking questions, maintaining eye contact, summarizing main points — to make it clear you’re solely focused on them.

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