Are the leaders in your organization trusted by employees? You may think that there is an adequate level of trust, but if you are experiencing issues of low employee engagement, high turnover, poor communication or low employee morale, distrust in leadership may be to blame. According to research from Globoforce, 80% of employees trust their colleagues, but only 65% trust senior leaders.
A recent article from Fast Company provides six habits your leaders can begin developing today to have an impact on the level of trust in your organization.
- Keep your promises– With any relationship, friendships, parent-child, etc. breaking your word is the fastest way to erode any trust you may have developed. Do what you say you are going to do so that employees learn they can depend on you. If circumstances change and you are unable to keep a commitment, apologize and explain why. Make sure these instances are the exception and not the rule.
- Provide context– Help employees understand why change is occurring or why you are making a particular request. This is especially important if the task is challenging or there is a drastic change in procedure. When you provide context and explain why something is happening, employees feel more included in the decision-making process and are more likely to trust your leaders.
- Be present– Practice active listening when speaking with employees. Understand what is important to your employees. Avoid distractions such as your phone or email. Make sure employees feel that you value their time and their opinions.
- Welcome diversity– Get input from all levels of employees within your organization. Getting feedback from a diverse group of individuals will allow you to better understand your workforce as a whole.
- Be human– Admit your mistakes. Ask questions when you don’t understand something. Being vulnerable makes you relatable and will increase the level of trust your employees have for you.
- Have their backs– Employees will trust you if you demonstrate that you support them. Make employees feel secure in their position within the company. Set clear, realistic expectations and then provide the necessary training, feedback and support to help your employees succeed.
Gather your leadership team together and look for ways that you can start using these habits today. You might be surprised at the positive ripple effect this may have on your organization. If you are looking for more ways to empower the leaders in your company, contact an HR Business Partner today to discuss our leadership development opportunities.