“Trust is built with consistency.”
Lincoln Chafee

Do you feel like you work in a high-trust environment? Do you and your colleagues generally work well together and communicate easily? And if you manage a team, do you feel like you empower your employees to do their jobs, without needing to oversee every aspect? Trust is an integral part of thriving workplaces. Trust is also a two-way street. Employees need to be able to trust their boss and organization, and managers need to be able to trust their team members.

Most employees and leaders (63%) believe that trust at work must be earned, according to global research from The Workforce Institute. So, how can you begin to build more trust? We share a few ideas from writer Michele McGovern in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.

1. Show more empathy. One way to do this, according to McGovern is to share how individuals or the team will be impacted with certain news or updates. This can help create a sense of togetherness, which goes a long way toward building trust.

2. Be transparent and accountable. Team members can begin to trust each other when they share what they know rather than holding back information. And if you’re a leader who must share bad news, treat your employees as adults and be direct and truthful, McGovern says.

3. Emphasize well-being. You can also build trust by reminding your colleagues and employees about resources available to them. Whether you lend a listening ear, or you email them a link to a resource, McGovern says they will almost always remember how your actions impacted them.

4. Stay situationally aware. This means staying mindful of how the information will unfold and affect employees and team dynamics. McGovern says it’s important to be open to feedback on how to go forward as circumstances change.

5. Communicate often. If you manage a team, make sure to share relevant information frequently. McGovern suggests adding “Ask Me Anything” discussions or providing daily email updates when significant changes are happening.

6. Make it a two-way talk. McGovern says that as much as you share information, you want to get input and insight. Use employee voices to communicate up the line of command, sharing their concerns and expectations.

7. Help others share experiences. You can help build trust by giving people opportunities to share their dilemmas, challenges or concerns. When everyone can talk openly about what’s on their mind, it makes communication more productive.

8. Remember the big picture. McGovern says that most communication efforts aren’t one-and-done. Recognize how the information or situation will affect the bigger picture of your organization or employees’ future and speak to that.

9. Follow up. Building trust requires ongoing communication, so be sure to touch base on topics after the fact. If you oversee a team, you could also ask for feedback on how you team members would like to receive information in the future.

Building trust takes time. By following the guidance above, you can begin to establish a high-trust environment within your team.

Source: Michele McGovern is a writer, editor and content creator who has covered topics including sales, customer service, leadership and HR.