A lot of the CEO’s, Owners and managers struggle to trust their subordinates because they fear the short term losses associated with letting go of micromanaging their employees. “What if they make mistakes” or “They just can’t do it without me”. Firstly this is more of a “you” problem more than it is anyone else’s, everyone can and will make mistakes and secondly I think you give yourself far too much credit and your staff far too little.
Building trust as a part of your company’s culture is one of the most important variables in the equation when it comes to the company’s success and the time it takes to reach success.
BE HONEST WITH YOUR STAFF, EVEN IF IT IS AT YOUR OWN EGO's EXPENSE.
So how do you develop a culture of trust?
This is not easy and is not the same for every company but in the market we are in today and the fear staff have of losing their job places companies with low levels of trust in a dangerous position because staff have an the ability to instinctively know what’s good and bad for the company as do you and if they feel that you as their manager do not have trust in them or their abilities they will choose silence over speaking out over a decision you have made which could lead the company to lose money or even closing in the long-term.
In the year gone by we had one of the largest toy retailer company’s close and I highly doubt that none of the lower down staff in marketing or sales did not foresee this happening and maybe they even wanted to move the retailer from brick and mortar to online but because of the fear of judgment from their superiors chose silence over speaking out.
Companies with low levels of trust train their new employees that it is safer to agree with managements opinions than have an opinion of your own and this as we already know can lead even the biggest of businesses to the graveyard. Rather a company with leaders who aren’t afraid to be wrong in the short term in order to grow in the long term are the really successful companies.
Your staff’s point of view may be a total 180 degree of yours and this may ruffle some of your colleagues or even your own feathers but an opposite point of view is the foundation of conversation and through meaningful conversation solutions are developed, as well as the fact that just because you as a manager disagree with their point of view, it does not necessarily mean that your colleagues or even your own managers will disagree with them and your reaction towards the difference in opinion could be more detrimental to your own career growth than the bitterness of a bruised ego.
YOUR ETHICS ARE NEVER TO BE CROSSED FOR A “WIN”
The "right thing" to do is always the right thing to do.
If your employees doubt your integrity it’ll destroy any trust that you have built or any trust you are planning to build within the organization.
Their doubt in you will lead them to be less open and honestly which will lead to less internal communication.
In the short term, this may work for you and you will benefit from disregarding your ethics but as we all know the circle of life turns at its own speed and when you look again the decisions you’ve made will either come back to haunt you or you’ll be celebrated because of them.
GIVE TRUST FREELY BUT TAKE IT BACK AS QUICK IF NECESSARY
Trust that your staff have the capability to do the jobs they have been given because a staff member who feels trusted will return the favour by working hard to keep it but a staff member who feels untrusted will use it as a reason to work less.
Give a man a rope and see what he does with it. This freedom will give you an opportunity to evaluate the person’s true intentions and see who they really are.
Some will use that rope to pull others up with, others will use that rope to make repairs to the businesses structure and others will get tangled up in it and lose.
BE THE BETTER PERSON, EVEN WHEN NO ONE IS LOOKING.
This is not easy to do because sometimes it is doing more even if you get nothing in return because the blind today will see tomorrow and in the long term will be far more beneficial to you.
Remember that your position does not mean that you can lumber your staff with extra duties that go beyond their responsibilities. If you wouldn’t be willing to do it what gives you the right to think that others should do it.
Empower your staff to do their jobs and learn to accept that some mistakes are your fault and you need to bear the brunt of the consequences because of them. When all things are said and done you are the manager, you are the last line of defence and need to shoulder the responsibility for your teams’ success but more importantly their failures.
As a leader in your organisation, what are you doing to build trust within your staff? What lessons have you learnt in the process? Leave a comment below