To build trust with employees:
- Start in the interview process
- Share the things that hurt
- Show them
- Live your values
- Start in the interview process – when you are hiring share the bad about the company as well as the good. Tell them what you have to work on and improve and why some people are not happy here. You want new employees to stay. If they make a decision with all the facts, good and bad, they are more likely to stay and they will trust you for being honest with them from the beginning.
- Share the things that hurt – don’t just share good news. Share bad news, like losing key employees, losing key clients, or missing numbers, and ask the teams to help with solutions. Employees know enough about what is going on to understand when you are leaving out the bad news. They will lose trust and make up their own stories which are most likely worse than the real situation. They won’t receive the benefit of your plan and leadership, if you don’t tell them the situation and how you will approach it. They will also miss out on vital training to help them handle the same kinds of challenges as managers.
- Show Them – Show them you trust them by letting them make decisions and own important parts of the culture and the business. Provide guidance with vision and values and let them figure out the rest. Employees trust executives that trust them. Show them respect and appreciation.
- Live Your Values – Don’t spout values that you don’t live on a daily basis. The quickest way to lose trust is to say you value employees or clients and then to talk badly about them or treat them badly. Trust comes from observation of actions not verbal communication. Live what you preach or don’t preach it.