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10 Proven Ways Managers Can Build Trust in the Workplace [Infographic]

10 Proven Ways Managers Can Build Trust in the Workplace [Infographic] Blog Feature

Carolyn Edgecomb

Talent & Office Manager, 7+ Years of Logistics and New Hire Management

December 1st, 2018 min read

People are the heart of every company -- working tirelessly to see it succeed.

And despite popular belief, it’s not just money that motivates them to do this.

People need to feel a bond with their organization and a lot of this comes back to trust.

If your employees don’t have trust in your company, their teammates or managers, not only do they feel less passionate about their work, but they can become stressed and disengaged -- ultimately leading to a higher turnover rate.

Companies with high levels of trust are 2 ½ times more likely to be high performing organizations when it comes to revenue. That’s definitely not something to scoff at!

While trust isn’t something you can quickly build overnight, in this infographic, The Business Backer outlines 10 proven ways that managers can help build trust in the workplace.

1. Transparency

Being transparent is a great way for management to open the door for communication -- allowing team members to feel “heard” and in the loop at different levels of management.

According to a report by Interaction Associates, employees crave transparency from their leaders and want input into decisions that affect them.

Not only will transparency and communication allow your team to build trust, but you will also find that it encourages collaboration and increases your team's willingness to identify problems and solutions.

Some items your management team can put into action to help build trust include:

  • Asking for your team's input.

  • When you’ve made a decision, give your team background information so they can better understand why you made that specific decision. According to Henry Ford, one of the greatest secrets to success is being able to view things from another person’s point of view.

  • Management should be open and available for team members to bring issues that need to be solved to the top of the organization. Often times, there are problems your [front-end] employees are unable to solve themselves.

The Business Backer also suggests that when bringing new employees onto your team, it’s important to introduce them to your company’s goals, your way of working, as well as your expectations of their role so they know what they’re getting into.

2. Active Listening

In the past week, how many times have you spoken with a team member and realized that you weren’t hearing a word they were saying or you kept interrupting them before they even finished their thought?

You may not even be aware you aren’t actively listening.

A tactic our COO, Chris Duprey has implemented uses three different colored pens (blue, red, and green) as a way to remind him to listen. Here’s a look at the purpose of having each colored pen:

“Blue equals my own thoughts and notes. This is probably because blue is my favorite color and I naturally pick it up if given a choice.  When I am speaking I hold my blue pen.

Red is the color of tasks.  All tasks or to-dos that come out of a meeting are recorded in red.  

Now on to Green - the most important pen I have.  When I am in a meeting with our team, our partners, or a client I use my green pen to takes notes based on what others are saying. By holding my green pen, I make it a point to myself to remember I am in listening mode. I need to listen and really absorb what others are saying so that I can understand their point of view and show them the respect that true team's (and any relationship for that matter) are built upon.

If what’s said makes me think of something, I transition to my blue pen to ensure that I capture the thought as mine.”

Some other ways you can practice active listening are asking open-ended questions, devoting 80% of the conversation to listening, giving the speaker your undivided attention, and providing feedback (ask questions, summarize the conversation, etc).

3. Weekly Meetings

Having weekly meetings is great to ensure everyone is on the same page.

By regularly having these meetings, you’re opening the lines of communication and you’re able to regularly identify what worked, what didn’t work, and what you’re going to do to improve.

These meetings also allow your company to be more transparent.

4. Create a Space for Honest Feedback

Your employees are in the trenches and experience the ups and downs of your business, the pros and cons every day. They should be the first people to give you feedback regarding how your company operates, your product/service offering.

However, this will only happen if you’re able to foster an environment for providing honest feedback -- even when it feels uncomfortable.

By being open to feedback, you’re helping your team build deep trust and there’s nothing wrong with healthy conflict.

The Business Backer also suggests asking your team members to share one issue that has got in the way and how they would like to solve it.

Want to learn more about how you can build trust in your workplace? Check out the full infographic below.


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