trust-300x300By Kevin Eikenberry

There are many reasons why trust is important to leaders.

With higher levels of trust, you are able to influence change more easily and quickly. With more trust, you are able to create higher levels of productivity and team cohesiveness.

I could go on, but in short, gaining your employees’ trust is critical to your success. However, when your employees don’t work alongside you, it’s hard to foster the type of strong relationship needed to allow trust to grow.

So how can you build employees’ trust in you, especially when those employees are scattered across the globe? Commit to the following actions:

  1. Take ownership. I know trust is a perception, and how people perceive you isn’t completely in your control. However, you can always improve. Decide now that you are going to take the steps necessary to become the type of leader that your employees can count on. Justifications, rationalizations and blame won’t change how much they trust you, only your behavior will.
  2. Put employees first. If you want to be more trusted, you need to be more focused on the needs of others. Working only on your agenda and issues won’t build employees’ trust in you. Working to resolve the issues and challenges that they face will.
  3. Fulfill your commitments. When you tell people you will do something, do it and complete it on time. If you make promises you can’t deliver, people lose trust in you and your ability.
  4. Offer help. Employees believe that you have the expertise, resources, budget and authority to make their lives easier. When you don’t address their concerns, they believe that you don’t care enough to help them, and that makes them lose faith in you. So support them when they need it. For example, if your team is struggling under the weight of a major project, bring in some extra manpower or roll up your sleeves and help cover the work.
  5. Show integrity. Practice what you preach, be honest, put the team and organization ahead of yourself, don’t cut corners or act unethically, and hold people accountable when they break the rules. When employees see that you follow a strong moral code, they will grow to trust you.
  6. Trust them. Think about it: Aren’t you more willing to trust people who you know trust you? Create higher levels of trust by trusting your employees more. Don’t wait for them to prove themselves to you. Give them the benefit of the doubt, and believe that they have the best interest of the organization in mind. Grant them more autonomy and stop micromanaging.

How do you show your employees that you trust them? 

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