How to Build Trust in the Workplace

According to Drs. Michelle and Dennis Reina, there are three critical areas of trust: character, communication, and capability. Managers can take specific actions to build and maintain each area.

Trust of Character occurs when managers and employees do what they say they will do, proving that they are reliable.

Managers should:  Model follow-through and hold employees accountable for following-through on their commitments and responsibilities. Set realistic expectations and ensure that employees have sufficient training and decision-making authority to meet those expectations. Conduct frequent check-ins with employees to discuss their progress and any challenges they have. Employees should feel comfortable initiating these conversations if they run into difficulties.

Trust of Communication occurs when managers and employees engage in open and honest communication to share information as well as to work through issues and offer constructive feedback.

Managers should: Be hyper aware of the need to communicate frequently, clearly, and comprehensively, including conducting regular check-ins with employees. Create a psychologically safe environment where employees are encouraged to speak up when there are issues, without fear of recrimination. Employees need to know that their manager will respond in a timely fashion.

Trust of Capability occurs when managers and employees recognize and use the skills and abilities of each other, seek each other’s input, involve everyone in decision making, and take the time to teach each other new skills.

Managers should: Build cooperative and collaborative relationships with employees and delegate new responsibilities so that all employees have an opportunity to learn and grow. Recognize that the quality of decisions and their acceptance by their employees depend upon involving them in some part of the decision-making process. Employees need to see that their input is expected, respected, and valued.

Managers who expend the time and effort to achieve these three areas of trust will reap the reward of a well performing workforce.

Question: How would you rank these areas of trust in terms of priority?

#management #motivation #humanresources #productivity #personaldevelopment

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