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The power of trust: Why trusting your employees matters

The power of trust: Why trusting your employees matters

3 Minute Read

By trusting employees from the start, you can create a positive work environment that boosts confidence, motivation, and commitment. This article dives into the benefits and challenges trust presents in the workplace and outlines some action steps you can take to experience the power of trust.

Most of us have been there. You’ve started a new job — you’re excited and ready to contribute. Only you feel like you’re being watched every step of the way. Your manager is constantly checking in and you may even feel like you have to prove yourself.

Now, how motivated were you to give this job your all? Probably not very.

This scenario highlights why trust in the workplace is more than a virtue — it’s a strategic necessity for organizational success.

Trust from the outset

By trusting employees from the get-go, you set a positive tone within the work environment.

It demonstrates that you believe in their skills and their judgement, which boosts their confidence and motivation. When your team feels trusted, they will be more likely to take ownership of their work and feel a deeper commitment to the organization.

These supportive feelings spill over into the work environment, nurturing a collaborative environment where creativity, courage, and productivity can flourish.

In contrast, a culture where employees feel they have to earn your trust can be stifling and stressful. This mistrust can fuel a reduction in morale and productivity. Instead of striving for excellence, your team may be more focused on avoiding mistakes. Instead of going the extra mile to make sure customers are satisfied, these undervalued employees are often stuck in a cycle of doubt.

This mistrust limits their potential and can hinder the growth and reputation of your business.

Benefits of trusting your employees

When you team feels valued, you’ll see a boost in their performance and productivity. You’ve set them up for success, and since they’re feeling more engaged and motivated, it leads to higher levels of performance.

Trust fosters collaboration and communication, leaving your workforce feeling safe and willing to share their ideas. By working together, you team can come up with more innovative solutions.

Beyond increased performance, a trusting work environment contributes to increased job satisfaction. This, in turn, reduces employee turnover. An individual is much more likely to stay with an organization if they feel valued. By establishing trust from the beginning, you set the tone for a supportive culture.

Not only do happy, supportive employees want to continue working for your business, but those positive feelings have a ripple effect. Top tier talent will be attracted to your trusting, empowering workplace.

Mistrust and its challenges

On the flip side, when employees feel they aren’t trusted, it can lead to low morale and disengagement. And when people feel undervalued and micromanaged, they aren’t motivated to contribute their best efforts.

By constantly having to prove themselves, your employees will end up feeling stressed and exhausted — in some cases the constant scrutiny could even lead to burnout.

Lack of trust can also result in poor communication and collaboration. Employees may be less willing, or don’t feel safe, to share ideas or feedback. In the end, this hurts your business as it makes improving or innovating almost impossible.

People like to feel trusted, so when they are in a situation where they don’t — like their workplace — they can be tempted to leave. And if your mistrusting environment is driving employees to look for opportunities elsewhere, leading to high turnover rates, it can be disruptive and costly to your operations.

How can I make sure my employees feel trusted?

So, how can you develop and maintain trust within your team? It starts with you, their leader.

Here are some action steps you can use to build a trustworthy environment:

Lead by example

Demonstrate trustworthiness through your actions. Be transparent and consistent in your behaviour. Give your team autonomy and responsibility.

Unbiased review

Sometimes all we need is a fresh set of eyes. An outside perspective from a third-party human resources advisor can help identify mistrust and provide guidance as you work to eliminate it. It can be tough to navigate change in the workplace, but you don’t need to maneuver through it without support.

Open communication

Foster open communication by being approachable and receptive to feedback. Encourage employees to share their ideas and concerns without judgement.

Empower your team

Equip your employees with the tools and resources they need to succeed. Empower them to make decisions and take ownership of their work.

Recognize their efforts

Regularly acknowledge and appreciate the hard work and contributions of your employees. Recognition can reinforce trust and motivate your team to keep doing their best.

Provide opportunities for growth

Invest in your team’s development by offering chances to deepen their training and growth. This shows them you trust them to advance with the business.

Create a supportive environment

By building a supportive and inclusive work environment, employees will feel safe to take risks and make mistakes.

Build trust with help from our seasoned advisors

Trust isn't just a nicety — it's a cornerstone of success in the modern workplace. But it can be tough to achieve alone. Our Human Resources Consulting Services can help you cultivate a thriving team and culture — built on mutual trust — so your business can reach its full potential.

To learn more, contact Hali Van Vliet , Consulting Partner.


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