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Does your team trust you? – CEOWORLD magazine

Trust is the basis of any organization’s success. If your employees don’t feel safe to speak or feel that important company information is being hidden, they’re more likely to leave. This article discusses strategies on how to create a culture of trust in your workplace.

How much trust do employees place in their employer? A little. According to a recent Edelman Trust Barometer Report, 77% of workers said they trust their direct supervisors and 71% said the same about their CEO. A PwC survey of American companies came back with similar numbers, with 80% of workers saying the pandemic and post-pandemic experiences have not shaken their trust in their employers.

These figures bode well for the bosses. They also show how powerful companies are in the eyes of their team members. A company that can maintain high levels of trust among its workforce must maintain a competitive advantage. A company that loses confidence risks losing everything.

So how can you ensure that you maintain the trust faucet in your organization? Below are some suggestions that might help you. Putting these tips into practice will help you create an atmosphere of trust where everyone feels like they have a voice.

  1. Look for ways to measure trust.
    Remember the saying, “you can’t improve what you don’t measure?” You need to find objective ways to gauge trust. Otherwise, you’ll end up relying on your instincts to tell you if your people trust you. And your instinct always tends to be subjective, whether you realize it or not.

    Surveys are a simple way to start measuring trust levels in your business. Employee satisfaction surveys allow you to determine how trustworthy your employees are to you or the company as a whole, giving you a baseline to work from. For example, you can track employee engagement rates, which Gallup ratings fluctuates around 32% on average. Engagement and trust often go hand in hand, so an increase in engagement could indicate an increase in trust.

    In addition to sending surveys, you can also get feedback through town halls and other open forums. Large group meetings, whether in-person or virtual, can allow you to take the collective pulse of your employees. These events give people the opportunity to find out what’s going on and ask questions of the leaders as well. Just make sure you’re prepared to answer honestly, otherwise you could cause the trust cascade to fail.

  2. Be 100% transparent. No exceptions.
    It will be difficult for employees to trust you if you continually shield them from good information. Certainly, most workers understand that you may be aware of certain data and information that you must keep secret. However, you can probably tell your employees more than you think – and they will thank you for it!

    In an article on earning the trust of customers, Christine Alemany, advisor at the TBGA, explains that half-truths can be almost worse than total omissions. In her experience as an entrepreneur and marketer, omission “akin to lying.” What if you fail? Be bold and honest. “Being vulnerable to your shortcomings in the past suggests honesty,” she writes, “which is the foundation of consumer trust, brand affinity, and long-term commitment.”

    The next time you are tempted to hide information, ask yourself why. Is it out of necessity or legality, as in the case of a signed and sealed non-disclosure agreement? Or is it just out of habit? If it’s the latter, you may be keeping too many secrets, which can create a barrier of trust between you and your employees.

  3. Change your tone to promote psychological safety.
    A psychologically dangerous corporate culture will never be one that fosters trust. Never. For people to trust each other, they need to feel that they won’t be mistreated for saying what they think, admitting a mistake, or coming up with a new idea. So how do you create a psychologically safe climate? McKinsey Research recommends that you prioritize positivity in all its forms.
    For example, you might want to learn how to strike the right tone and use the best words to get your thoughts across to your team members. Tone and language can play a huge role in how announcements, responses, and sentiments are received. We’ve all misinterpreted the meaning of an email or text that seemed terse but was only meant to be factual and quick. Knowing how to speak to others appropriately can increase confidence.

    As you begin to make inroads into your conversation patterns and habits, consider sharing your findings with your downline leaders. This way, you can produce a “ripple effect” of trust throughout the organization.

Does your team trust you? Maybe, but maybe not as much as you would like. Fortunately, you now have proven strategies for prioritizing a culture of trust in your workplace. When trust is strong, you are able to innovate more easily, enjoy less churn, and outperform your industry competitors.

Written by Rhett Power.
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