In business, trust is foundational to be a great leader. The power of trust should never be underestimated. Trust is necessary for collaborative, high performing teams and organizations. Trust is often talked about as the bedrock of employee engagement and a company’s success. . It is all too easy in a business environment to prioritize results over all else. But the key is that you balance the need for results with being considerate of others and their needs at all times.
Most people think about the issue of trust in terms of customers i.e. the customers have to believe in you and your products and services. However, trust within the organization is just as important. – more important, actually. Your employees must believe in each other and in you as a leader. When they do not communication, teamwork and performance inevitably suffer. As concerning is that managers and leaders will never learn the truth about what is really happening in the work environment unless they have employee trust.
Therefore, it is extremely important that as a leader, you build a strong two-way relationship of trust and respect with your team members. There are several qualities that a manager has to develop to cultivate trust. First, it is important to set an example by modeling every standard and behavior that you expect your employees to live by. We often hear that great leaders lead by example and this statement holds true in every aspect. If you are competent and good at what you do and you keep your commitments, your employees will respect and trust you.
Emulating desired behaviors and values irrespective of stature and post is essential in building trust.
Similarly, you need to build trust by demonstrating that everyone is a valued member of the team. Show your vulnerability, admit mistakes without assigning blame and giving credit where it is due are necessary ingredients.
Third, your employees need to feel that you are accessible and always open to listen to their ideas. This requires foster an environment where people n feel comfortable expressing needs, issues, concerns, and/or mistakes without being worried about the consequences. The best way to do this is building psychological safety, helping your employees feel trusted by being honest, truthful and transparent. A good leader encourages people to speak their mind by showing them their opinion is valued and welcomed.
And last (for this blog!), being supportive and friendly goes a long way when developing a healthy, trusting, psychologically safe environment. Great leaders understand the importance of staying in touch with concerns and issues that employees are dealing with. Demonstrating care, compassion and empathy by helping to problem-solve and addressing concerns foster employee trust.
Great leaders not only understand the importance of trust within a group working together for a common goal, but they also realize that it takes hard work and perseverance to cultivate trust. You can invite trust, but it has to be earned. It is contagious and will spread.