No employee will ever tell you that they do not trust you. However, a lack of trust between
employees and their supervisors can undermine employee engagement and productivity. In most
cases, management never finds out until a manager or employee leaves the company.
While you may never hear an employee say, “I do not trust you” there are behaviors to look for
to determine if you are facing a lack of trust.
If employees are:
- Withholding information and using selective communication
- Persistently questioning goals, strategies, actions and decisions
- Protecting their self-interest at the expense of the team or organization
- Acting inconsistently with the organization’s values
- Exhibiting low or diminishing commitment and engagement
If you are noticing some of these behaviors then you are facing a lack of trust between you and your employees. The good news is that there are things that you can begin to do immediately to improve the level of trust. If you engage in the following you will begin to see immediate improvements:
- Follow Through- Most employees understand that sometimes there are things out of your control that prevent you from keeping commitments but this should be the exception not the norm. You need to make sure you keep commitments and if you are not able to you need to explain it to your employees.
- Communicate- You need to create opportunities to clearly communicate expectations, and build a shared understanding of priorities. Talk straight and talk often- your employees can handle it. Your employees want to know that you are telling them the truth and not spinning the message for you benefit.
- Listen- You need to take the time to listen to what your employees are saying by doing so you will build a reputation of listening and caring about what others have to say. Therefore, building trust with your employees. You have to be sincere a lack of sincerity will be more damaging than not listening.
- Get Better- Always seek to learn and improve your management and leadership skills, remember that learning is a life long journey. As you improve so will your team and organization.