Trust is vital in the workplace. It is essential in building trust and loyalty as well as a safe and supportive organization. A business that fosters trust will be more successful and productive. Employees, managers, and clients will be happier, and everyone will thrive.
Building and maintaining trust are everyone’s responsibility. Here are some fundamental ground rules to build and maintain trust in a workplace.
Everyone needs to be able to rely on their colleagues and leaders to show up, to deliver on their commitments and to be there for each other. Make sure you are punctual, do the tasks you committed to doing, and if you are a leader don’t fall into the habit of canceling or rescheduling meetings.
Honesty is fundamental to an atmosphere of trust.
• Discourage gossiping and rumors which are destructive to trust and teamwork.
• Give credit where it’s due to everyone on the team.
• Be supportive and constructive in giving feedback. If there are mistakes made, or if something goes wrong don’t blame or call people out in front of their colleagues. Work out a plan of action to make things right. If a difficult conversation is needed, do it in an office or meeting room.
3. Small courtesies
It is a truism that people will not necessarily remember what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel. Find connections and common ground with the people at work.
• Remember people’s names, say good morning and good night to everyone.
• Make eye contact when you talk to people.
• Listen to what everyone has to say.
• Turn up to office celebrations and contribute to the birthday or goodbye party collections.
• Be aware of what is happening in people’s lives outside the office. Be compassionate and flexible.
If you’re a leader, encourage open discussion of issues – including discussing trust and what it means in the workplace. If you’re a team member, participate sincerely in discussions, avoid cliques or choosing sides, and don’t fall into the trap of automatically seeing management as the enemy.
Contribute to an office environment where people want to do their best, where it’s ok to challenge yourself and grow, and safe to suggest ideas or strategies. Encourage a positive team identity. Have a formal induction process for new team members, so they know how the team operates, what the processes and procedures are and who everyone on the team is.
These strategies will help you build a strong organization based on trust and mutual support.