Trust is developed through action; one showing consistency in activity, thereby meeting the receiver’s expectations. For example, we don’t ask a chair if it will hold us up. We have an expectation that the chair will do what it appears to be capable of doing; keep us from falling on our butt! Employees have that same expectation of their employers. They devote their time, skill and knowledge to an organization with the expectation that the employer will deliver on their promise to provide stability and opportunity. The trouble is, most employers fail to live up to their end of the deal. The result – high turnover and disengaged employees.
To create a lasting bond with people who will help your business succeed, you must devote a significant amount of time and resources towards building trustworthy relationships. According to glassdoor’s 2014 employees’ choice awards, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are among the top five best places to work. Why? Because they show they value their employees. They listen and take time to understand the needs of their workers. They demonstrate respect and appreciation (i.e., caring) for those they employ and they make it a point to consistently deliver on what they say they will do.
To determine if you are a trustworthy employer, ask yourself these questions.
Do you share your goals and vision? Workers tend to become more engaged if they understand a company’s vision. Sharing your goals and execution strategies with employees help them to make it a personal goal for themselves. Bring employees into the conversation and reinforce the company values during meetings. Allow employees to take ownership for special projects and ensure your actions consistently mirror organizational values.
Are you honest and transparent in your communication? No business is exempt from hardship or challenges. During these times, it is crucial to display consistent transparent communication. Listen to the concerns of employees while providing reassurance along the way.
Do you do what you say you will do? Aspiring to achieve goals are easier said than done. Employees are more likely to watch what you do over listening to what you say. Statements such as “we promote respect and integrity in the workplace” sound great, but are you actually displaying these behaviors during normal business activity?
Do you demonstrate appreciation? Give credit where credit is due. The same energy and attention you give to accountability must be used to give appreciation and gratitude for good work. It’s not realistic to expect employees to go above and beyond, exceeding expectations without being recognized. Bottom line – employees will not sacrifice if they do not feel appreciated.
Can employees confide in you? Many employers say they have an “open door policy” but few actually encourage people to walk through that open door. Often workers don’t feel comfortable sharing valid concerns with their boss due to fear of losing their job. Try to promote authentic communication without making employees feel intimidated or concerned about getting canned for being honest. Chances are, if an employee is willing to share their concerns, it’s because they value their job and care about securing the future of the company.
When employees don’t trust their employers, they become withdrawn, disengaged and unproductive. Disengaged employees are not committed to the organization nor do they feel obligated to deliver quality work. Employees having authentic relationships at work tend to be more emotionally connected and motivated to help achieve organizational goals.
Mary V. Davids is Principal Consultant at D&M Consulting Services, LLC., and creator of the Honest Model™. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. Book Mary to speak at your next event or hire Mary for leadership & professional development consultation today. Follow Mary on twitter @MVDavids.