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5 Ways to build trust with your Employees

Kate Allen, Managing Director, Allen Associates

Trust is the cornerstone of staff retention. Establish a foundation of trust with your Employees and engagement levels can remain relatively untouched in times of uncertainty. Keep them in the dark and they won’t think twice when an exciting opportunity comes knocking.

According to a global survey from Harvard Business Review, Employees who felt that their leaders treated them with respect were 63% more satisfied with their jobs, 55% more engaged, 58% more focused and 110% more likely to stay with their organisation. Evidently, when leaders are open, honest and transparent in their communication, they set the tone for the company culture. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to build trust with your workforce today:

Make a point to give recognition

As we hurtle towards the last years of what has been a tumultuous decade in the employment landscape, it should come as no surprise to anyone that employee recognition remains a hotly debated topic. Recent research showed that only 40% of workers believe that their employer effectively recognises their workplace performance, while 78% of employers think their company is doing enough.

A nearly 40% disparity is a neat numerical reminder that emphatically shows just why record numbers of people are leaving their employers in the search for greener pastures. But providing recognition should never be seen as a burden to HR departments and employers. If your employees have hit or exceeded their KPIs, recognising their achievements and praising their contribution is undeniably an effective way of increasing loyalty.

Improve communication

Since the dawn of time, communication has been the very best way to win friends and influence people and employers do well to keep this in mind. It may seem obvious, but when staff aren’t given clear instructions or kept in the loop about updates on particular projects or processes, it’s a recipe for disaster – not just in operations but in employee morale.

Communicating with your employees shouldn’t be some power-trip, machismo show of strength. At the end of the day, we are all people with emotions, motives and fears: your Employees simply seek an open channel of communication and clarity on what’s expected of them. Understanding what drives your employees is still the very best way to build trust, so take the time to get to know your hires and strengthen relationships throughout your team.

Be transparent on issues concerning Employees

At times it can be completely necessary to conduct business under the cloak of secrecy. If you are contemplating a merger, acquisition, or a dealing with a human-resource concern, promoting these matters throughout the workplace can cause unnecessary distress and start fractious rumours.

When it comes to building trust, your team are not expecting you to let them sit in on board meetings: they simply don’t want to feel like the last to know if a decision is made that impacts their role. Naturally, employees deeply care about topics which pertain to their daily life and careers.Transparency over progression, productivity and performance can help build trust and communicate exactly what is expected from both sides of the employee/employer relationship.

Show respect and be open to new ideas

What is free but most people work for it their entire lives? You guessed it. Respect is something that should be earned not given, but that is not an excuse to denigrate the achievements of staff lower down the corporate ladder.

Most people in the workplace are crying out for their ideas to be heard and acknowledged, and while you will not be able to action every single suggestion made by your staff, taking the time to listen and contemplate their proposals shows respect and establishes a sense of mutual appreciation.

Give Employees a chance to shine

While it may be tempting to micro-manage your employees, this can quickly be perceived as a sign that you don’t trust them to make decisions. A lack of workplace freedom has been proven countless times to raise anxiety, stress and unhappiness within the workforce: it’s no surprise to see a high staff churn when employees have a stark lack of autonomy in their roles.

Allowing your employees the breathing space to evaluate their performance, set targets and meet deadlines not only promotes executive behaviour, but builds trust between management and their team members.

Over the last 20 years, we have grown as a business to become one of the leading independent Recruitment agencies in Oxfordshire, and in 2018 have opened our first London office, to service Clients in the capital.

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