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How to develop trust with your team

Updated: Nov 24, 2021

“Employees who are less trusted by their manager exert less effort, are less productive, and are more likely to leave the organization. Employees who do feel trusted are higher performers and exert extra effort, going above and beyond role expectations. Plus, when employees feel their supervisors trust them to get key tasks done, they have greater confidence in the workplace and perform at a higher level.”

Harvard Business Review

You trusted your people enough to recruit them, right? And you’re still employing them, so presumably you still trust them (if not, have a think about why – do you know enough about them? Have you been giving them feedback to resolve the issues you have with them or their performance / behaviours?)

So the next thing is: how do you show your trust in your people?

Communicate and share your business goals

This is really powerful! Let your trust be clear by sharing your ideas for growth and change in your business. When it’s a positive change you can energise your people to be enthusiastic for the change by leading them through the process. If it’s change that may impact any of them negatively, your honesty will help ensure their loyalty and maintain your good relationship. Also, some of your people may have great ideas to help you, too!

Give your people a voice

Encourage them to come up with ideas, share what irritates them, input to changes and give you feedback. All of these things encourage open, trusting relationships and contribute to employee engagement. The key thing for you to do is to listen and to implement what you can, to explain when you can’t, and to show that you listened and value their input.

Flexible working

Currently a hot topic in the UK, research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) found that 87% of people would like to work more flexibly – and there is a strong demand from men and women and across all age ranges. In a small company this may seem like a difficult thing to implement; at the same time, the benefit of increased engagement will make it worth your while.

Even if your first thought is that you can’t offer flexible working, try these things out:

· Give your employees a voice by asking them what flexible working means to them

· Give them a problem to solve: how can they work flexibly without detriment to your business and customers, and to their colleagues?

· Let them innovate and try out some options

These are some easy and free things you can try out now. Let me know how you get on and if you have more great ideas to share!

Harvard Business Review: Want your employees to trust you? Show you trust them

CIPD: Cross sector insights on enabling flexible working

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