November 22, 2017

5 Ways to Show That You Trust Your Team

 |  By: Mike Opperman

Establishing trust with employees is important in a number of ways. Positive performance relies on it. Trust builds loyalty, and loyalty builds longevity. Trust also builds satisfaction, and a satisfied employee is a happy, productive one.

Research proves that trust is critical to an employee relationship. According to a Harvard Business Review article, employees who are less trusted by their manager exert less effort, are less productive and are more likely to leave the organization. Employees who do feel trusted are higher performers and exert extra effort, going above and beyond role expectations. Plus, when employees feel their supervisors trust tyem to get key tasks done, they have greater confidence in the workplace and perform at a higher level.

Three researchers offer advice on how managers can signal that they trust their employees. These researchers are:

  • Holly Henderson Brower, associate professor at the School of Business at Wake Forest University
  • Scott Wayne Lester, professor of management at the College of Business at the University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire
  • M. Audrey Korsgaard, professor of management at the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina

Here are five ways they say you can show your employees that you trust them.

  1. Take stock. Don’t assume that your employees trust you. Learn to read their trust levels by understanding their risks and vulnerabilities.
  2. Carefully give up control. Researchers say that the onus to grow mutual trust is on the manager. That means not only cultivating trust but conveying trust in them. Cede control a little at a time, and learn to tolerate mistakes to a certain extent. Treat mistakes as an opportunity for learning.
  3. Share information. Communicate openly and honestly with employees. Researchers say that being transparent signals that you trust your employees with the truth, even in difficult circumstances.
  4. Push for needed change. Be willing to take risks that benefit the company, showing a willingness to experiment and learn from potential missteps.
  5. Invest in employee development. Let employees know that you are willing to invest in their potential. Learn their career aspirations and help them reach their goals.

In order to build an environment of sustained mutual trust, researchers say to learn to read the trust landscape and take care to clearly signal trust and confidence in employees.