Infographic: How to build trust with workers

Show them the big picture, set clear expectations, listen actively, and be assiduously transparent.

Trust is essential.

You can have the most educated workforce, the greatest business plan and the most superior technology at your fingertips, but if you don’t cultivate trust from your workers, your company will never fully flourish.

How do you fulfill such a delicate and precious—yet abstract—human need at work? You’d be wise to find out, as an infographic from The Business Backer offers evidence that workplace trust is serious, bottom-line business.

If you find the notion of workplace trust to be a load of millennial malarkey or ancillary poppycock, consider this: “Companies with high levels of trust are two-and-a-half times more likely to have high revenue than low-trust companies.”

If you’re not sure how to start building trust with employees, The Business Backer offers 10 suggestions, including the following nuggets:

  • Show employees the big picture. What are the chief objectives of this organization? What difference does my job make in the grand scheme of things? Which direction is the company heading? Will Hamburger Thursday ever return? Employees crave direction, goals, confidence and clarity (and Hamburger Thursday). Communicators should regularly share company goals, and make sure workers understand what, precisely, their role requires.
  • Set clear expectations. Confusion melts trust quicker than an ice cream cone on an Alabama sidewalk in July. Establish clear role expectations with employees, and ensure mutual understanding by regularly asking workers whether they understand (and agree with) what’s being asked of them.
  • Listen actively. The infographic quotes Christine Riordan, who says that active listening “builds trust and respect.” The Business Backer suggests improving internal listening by asking “open-ended questions,” such as:
  1. How is the project going?
  2. What do you think is going well?
  3. What could you (or we) do differently?
  • Be honest. The piece cites guidance from Patrick Lencioni, who advises: “Being open and honest, even when it feels uncomfortable, is the only way to build deep trust and have healthy conflict.” Be transparent and straightforward with your workers, or you risk forfeiting their trust forever.

As Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank puts it: “Trust is built in drops and lost in buckets.” Just one slip or sneaky messaging sleight of hand can quickly spill a bucketful of trust you’ve been slowly filling for decades. Are you actively building trust with your workers, or is your bucket leaking?

For more tips on how to build trust with employees, review the rest of The Business Backer’s infographic.

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