Leaders who aren’t trusted by their followers don’t get very far. If you’re in a leadership role at your business, here are some ways to build the trust of your employees.
1. Keep Your Word
Perhaps one of the most obvious ways to earn the trust of your subordinates is to come through for them when you say you will. This means not only fulfilling your professional responsibilities, but it also means keeping your word when you say you will or won’t do something. Even if you don’t make a specific promise, if you say that you are a manager who wants to get to know them as individuals and then stay locked up in your office all day, they’ll begin to lose faith in you.
2. Stay Honest and Open
It can be difficult to be transparent when you’re in a corporate leadership role. There are regulations about what you can and can’t tell employees, making it difficult to communicate all that you want to with them. If you’re honest about this, though, and share as much as possible, you may be surprised by how understanding they are. Give specifics about when you’ll be able to give them more information and why you can’t provide more at the moment. In addition, be open to criticism by regularly asking for honest feedback and then taking it well. Make a point to ask for their input on projects and decisions and then incorporate their suggestions as much as possible. This will show that you value them and know that you have things to learn from them as well.
3. Be a Team Player
No one wants a leader who doesn’t have the team’s best interests at heart. It’s important to show that you care about your employees by treating all of them equally, involving them in projects meant to improve the organization and giving credit where it’s due. Show them that you prioritize their success over your own by intentionally helping them reach their goals. Speak well of your workers and call out their strengths. If your employees know that you are working to help them succeed, they’ll trust you when you have to make tough decisions that they don’t always like.
Being in a position of leadership is challenging, to say the least. Work to be a trustworthy leader, though, and you’ll have a team that will back you up through thick and thin.