Kantor column: Planting the seeds of trust

Columnist Jan Kantor

Photo by LEXEY SWALL

Columnist Jan Kantor

The trust of your employees is a major concern to the manager or supervisor who wants to accomplish great things. Trust makes every person’s work easier, as it forms the basis for openness between management and employees. And open communication is an essential ingredient in any successful workplace.

The foundation of a trusting relationship between a manager or supervisor and employees is that manager’s integrity. A manager builds trust by meeting commitments and keeping promises.

Trust is especially important during times of uncertainty as we have experienced recently. Trust is an invaluable tool in maintaining an organization’s values and business direction.

When employees believe in their manager and company they are willing to work their hardest. When management has their employees’ trust they also have their loyalty. On the contrary, when a manager’s integrity is in question, so is the employees’ commitment.

Managers need and usually want the trust of their employees. But it doesn’t happen overnight. If your employees don’t know you well or have had reason to mistrust you in the past, it may take time to build that trust. Below are some practices that will help you sow the seeds of trust among your employees:

■ Talk In Terms Of We – When you talk to and about your employees, use the word “we”. Your job as manager is to help your employees reach their goals in order to benefit the company. Let your employees know that you are a team.

■ Share The Credit – When you acknowledge and thank your employees for their contributions you build trust. It shows them that you are there to help them and not to take credit for their work.

■ Create A Good Work Environment – People need people. Don’t isolate employees from each other. If people work at opposite ends of the building, arrange times for meetings. Create interaction and let employees get to know one another. When people are familiar with each other an atmosphere of trust can begin to develop.

■ Be Predictable – One of the most basic needs for trust is predictability. Do what you say you are going to. Employees develop trust as they feel safe and secure. When it is known that you can be counted on to follow through, trust builds.

■ Be Willing To Admit Your Mistakes – Letting employees know you are human is one of the best ways to enhance your credibility. This doesn’t mean that you need to confess your every fault, but be able to admit when you make a mistake.

■ Keep Your Employees Informed – If major changes are about to happen, let employees know as much as possible. Surprising them with the news does not foster trust but will develop feelings of betrayal and a loss of your credibility.

■ Trust Your Employees – Demonstrating your trust in employees encourages them to trust you. Distrusting them will always cause them to hesitate to place their trust in you.

There is not one specific way to get your employees to trust you. However, it does begin with you. As the manager or supervisor, you must actively take the initiative to develop your employees’ trust and great managers know the value of that. They take the time to develop credibility and sow the seeds of trust. When carefully cultivated those seeds will grow into a strong, loyal team that is ready to take your organization to the next level, even in difficult times.

Jan Kantor is ready to offer workplace solutions for issues, problems or things that are bothering you. Visit www.jankantor.com and click on “Workplace Solutions for You” on the right side of the home page.

© 2009 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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