Trust is the key to a successful relationship, and this is especially true in manager-employee relationships. Managers rely on their employees to perform the day-to-day tasks necessary for the success of their business. Employees rely on their managers for guidance, support and leadership.
But to build trust, both managers and employees have to do the work. This can be more difficult for managers who work remotely or who have to divide their time among so many different people and tasks.
To help you build trust with your team, these tips from members of Council for Young Entrepreneurs are a great starting point.
1. Be clear and honest
Trust goes hand in hand with honesty. As a manager, you must be clear and honest with your teams in both positive and negative interactions. I’ve found that the biggest barrier between employees and management is because they envelop situations that both parties know are bad, creating resentment and mistrust in all conversations. If you can trust each other to calmly and honestly have the tough conversations, you can have all the conversations. † Jason Azevedo† MRCA
2. Treat your employees like people
Remember that your employees are people too. They have real lives and real situations that arise. Of course we want everyone to be punctual and keep to their full scheduled time. However, when situations arise, showing compassion and permission to care for their families goes so much further than requiring them to stick to work hours. If you need more from them in the future, they’ll feel like it’s a partnership and they’ll perform in a way you can be proud of because they know you were there for them when they needed you. † Mary Harcourt† CosmoGlo
3. Let your team share and develop ideas
Help your team formulate and build ideas. This often means holding back when you think you already have the answer. Then spend time with each team member and ask questions to positively “co-create” the answer together. It may take a little longer to develop the ideas, but I often find that the team sees things I missed, and we get a better solution to the problem we were tackling together. † JT Allen† myFootpath LLC
4. Provide guidance and support when needed
It is important to analyze when trust is built in a relationship. Trust is built when there are times when one person can be let down, but the other steps up and reassures, guides, supports or leads, depending on the situation. As a manager, building trust is about your ability to see through the crisis, challenge or situation and see the person in front of you. See their intentions, strengths and weaknesses. Provide guidance and support. It’s about getting on the board and managing the situation in such a way that your employee comes out stronger and wiser than before. Over time, this steadfastness will build an incredible confidence. † Blair Thomas† eMerchantBroker
5. Give an example
As a leader, trust has to start with you. Confidence is only possible if one first lowers one’s vigilance. While that’s scary, everything in business is scary. Go ahead and lead by example. Your team will follow in your footsteps sooner than you think. They will trust you if you live with integrity. Integrity means checking your ego at the door and exercising the ownership you preach. Here’s a story that I think illustrates what I mean. After recently speaking with my team about timeliness, I found myself late for a meeting. I could have ignored it, but instead I decided to give the example of ownership. I texted the group, admitted my mistake and had them send me their Starbucks order. I showed up with ten drinks in hand. Set a good example. There is no alternative method. † Tyler Bray† TK Trailer Parts
6. Accept their strengths and weaknesses
Building trust among your employees is important but difficult. However, you can easily do that by creating an inclusive culture by accepting and trusting the strengths and weaknesses of your employees. Instead of ignoring them for their weaknesses, learn to strengthen them by offering ways to improve those areas. Encourage the team to work better by praising their strengths, appreciating their achievements, and celebrating milestones. Such small steps may seem trivial, but they actually help build trust and create a more positive work environment. † Thomas Griffin† OptinMonster
7. Communicate regularly and openly
Frequent communication is the foundation of trust between managers and employees. Anyone in a leadership role should be able to respond quickly and helpfully when employees ask questions and have the occasional chat. I’ve also found it helpful to share insights that matter to me. I share news and ideas on Slack or save them for a monthly internal email. People need to talk to each other and help each other over time to build mutual understanding and trust, and this is one area where managers need to be proactive. So make sure that you are active on your company channels and that you jump in where necessary. Doing so shows that you are listening and paying attention to their concerns. † Syed Balkan† WPBeginner
8. Hold Responsibility
Accountability has to go both ways. It’s just that simple. If you expect your subordinates to trust you, you must behave reliably. Don’t expect them to report to you only mechanically. As a manager, you can keep them updated on newer projects and recommend opportunities to help them grow. You can keep them informed of events within the organization. A reliable manager is honest and approachable. These qualities can only emerge through accountability. Responsibility also humbles you as a manager and helps you manage your team better. Your team will feel more comfortable tackling issues early that you can resolve in time, improving workflow and building a positive manager-employee relationship. † Candice Georgiadis† digital day
9. Assign High Priority Responsibilities
Managers need to be able to rely on their employees, and the best way to build trust is to give them certain high-priority responsibilities. By leaning on your employees, you directly imply that they are capable of performing tasks without the need for micromanagement. † Jordan Edelson† Appetizer Mobile LLC