A recent study by EY found that only 46% of employees have trust in their organisation, and 49% in their manager/team. Trust is one of the most important things you need in the workplace. Without it you won’t have the environment you need for an effective feedback culture to grow. So, how can you help close the trust gap between employees and managers?
1. Honesty is the best policy. Being honest, even during tough times, is something trustworthy leaders embrace. Rather than putting off the difficult talk, employees will respect a manager who is able to openly explain the situation, take questions and give them the facts.
2. Admit Mistakes. Admitting mistakes actually makes you more human and thereby more likeable to others. Psychologists call this the Pratfall effect. Being able to admit to and take responsibility for your mistakes is a major part of being a great leader.
3. Treat employees as people and not numbers. It’s easy to get lost in the numbers. If your job is based on meeting certain performance metrics, managers can often get in the habit of seeing their employees in terms of output achieved. You don’t have to know all the details of your employees’ personal lives, but managers should have a good understanding of what their employees enjoy most about their job. If you’re able to pick up on what your employee’s need to do their best, they’ll go the extra mile for you.
4. Give credit to your employees. A recent study by Globoforce showed that employees who received recognition from their leaders were significantly more likely to trust them than those who don’t take time to recognise hard work (82% vs 48%).
5. Put yourself on the line for your team. While inwardly you may have constructive feedback for your team about the way they approached a project, outwardly you must be willing to praise, advocate and take responsibility for your team’s actions.
6. Ask for feedback. To gain trust, managers must first demonstrate they’re willing to open themselves up to constructive feedback. If managers truly start to put themselves out there and ask for employee feedback, their team will recognise this and start to follow their example.
Trust isn’t the magic key to workplace bliss. Issues will always arise at work, but closing the trust gap means organisations can become more agile, innovative and reflective of a global, virtual world.