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How to Build Trust and Confidence in the Workplace

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Last editedMar 20222 min read

The success of a business depends on building trust, not only with customers, but among company employees too. Without it, team relations suffer and so does the quality of work produced by personnel. With this in mind, here is our guide to how to build trust in the workplace.

How to build trust and confidence in the workplace

1.  Ask for feedback from employees

In order to be aware of any issues going on and how you can help, you need to be actively engaging with employees and requesting feedback. This can be in the form of a survey sent out to employees by email, or it can simply involve checking in with employees regularly. You can then compile and analyze the feedback you receive, taking action to resolve any problems that arise.

Making employees feel as though their experience is valued and any criticisms they have are taken to heart helps foster a sense of trust within the workplace. Most importantly, employees will trust in management and their superiors if they see that their feedback is acted upon.

2. Show employees your appreciation

Of course, employees receive remuneration in return for their efforts, but this isn’t sufficient for instilling trust. In addition to financial compensation, employees respond very well to receiving recognition for their efforts in the form of thank you messages, verbal approval and congratulations, as well as through bonuses and other tangible rewards. This is because employees feel valued and encouraged, which in turn creates a sense of wellbeing which translates to trust.

3. Demonstrate your trust

In order to receive trust in return, you first have to demonstrate it yourself. Showing you trust your employees by permitting them a certain level of autonomy or giving them extra responsibilities will encourage them to trust you in exchange.

4. Be consistent

Showing your appreciation and encouraging employees only occasionally will not lead to a trustful relationship long-term. Instead, you need to demonstrate consistency, adopting trust-inducing behaviors and on a continual basis.

In addition, showing yourself as a consistent character makes it far easier for employees to feel that they can trust you. If your attitude or behavior changes wildly from one day to another, it becomes difficult for members of staff to feel comfortable around you.

Further, it’s important that you hold yourself to the same standards you hold your employees, which again comes down to being consistent. For example, if you expect your team to arrive at meetings on time, make sure you’re doing the same yourself.

5. Work on your nonverbal skills

Communication isn’t all about what we say, but the way we say it. Making eye contact with employees when speaking to them and showing you’re listening by nodding are both minor non-verbal communication elements which can make a huge difference to the efficacy of an exchange. Honing your body language to suggest patience, respect and empathy can go a long way in facilitating a trustful workplace.

6. Be open, honest and transparent

It’s no secret that trust is built on honesty. This can be difficult at times, as you might feel inclined to tell your employees what they want to hear rather than the cold hard truth. However, being honest — while still being sensitive to their feelings — is always the best route. If employees discover they’ve been lied to, this can result in the complete breakdown of trust — which can be very difficult to repair.

As well as straight-up honesty, a level of transparency when it comes to any upcoming changes in the business is imperative. Keep your employees constantly in the loop if you want to garner their respect and trust long-term.

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