Are you going to force your employees to do what you tell them to do and achieve the goals you expect them to achieve? Or are you going to earn their trust and respect, so they will act towards the organization’s growth because they want to? Of course, you’ll choose the second alternative. You don’t force; you motivate!
In a way, the office is a second home to your team. At home, people don’t like to have needy parents or parents whose expectations are too high. They want to trust and support, and they return the “favor” in the same way. Everyone wants a supportive environment at work, too. When the employees don’t trust the leader is doing everything to move the whole team forward, they lack enthusiasm. When they lack enthusiasm, the business suffers the consequences.
As a leader, you have a goal to build trust in the team. Here are five tips that help you do that.
1. Be Clear!
The best leaders have a quality we rarely pay attention to: clarity. They are never ambiguous when they talk to their teams. They share the organization’s mission and each project’s purpose in the clearest way possible. When they ask someone to do something, they set clear goals and activities.
Instead of saying “I need you to improve the results of this campaign,” a good leader will say “I need you all to be more active on social media and engage the audience through contests, so we’ll improve the results of this campaign within six months.”
- When the leader is clear about the expectations and sets specific goals, the employees trust he knows what he’s doing. When they trust they can achieve that goal under such instructions, they become productive.
2. Make Them Feel Safe
If the business is in a bad place, the employees won’t feel safe. They sense the danger of losing their job. You need to make this feeling go away.
- You can give them a sense of security by sharing the long-term goals and explaining how you see your company grow in future
- Treat them like human beings and show you respect the contributions each one of them makes
- Make them feel as part of a real team. You can do that by organizing team building sessions, which allow you to bond with them and make everyone feel as part of a safe community
3. Always Listen!
Employees won’t trust you if you just give them instructions. They will perceive such instructions as orders. When you try to understand them, you’ll gain their trust. They want to be part of the bigger picture.
Practice how to be a calm listener. Even if you don’t like what someone is saying, listen to them. Then, expose your arguments, letting them know that you still took their opinion into consideration.
Whenever you’re about to make a big decision, call for a brainstorming session and ask everyone for ideas. Then, make your own conclusions and share them with the team. When they know you listened, they feel like they are part of the company’s growth. They feel like they can tell you anything and they won’t be afraid to come into your office when they get a brilliant idea. That’s how you earn trust.
4. Give and Accept Feedback
You realize that giving feedback is a necessary aspect of your job as a leader. When you want your employees to improve their work, you tell them what they are doing right and how they can become better at what they do. You’re giving constructive feedback.
That’s not where you should stop, though. Encourage your team to give you feedback, too. Some of them will want you to show up in their offices more often. Others will suggest team building sessions. Listen to them without being offended, just like you want them to listen to the feedback you give them. Then, use that feedback to become a better leader.
You want your team to trust you? Then show them you’re doing a lot of work for everyone’s sake. You’re not there just for giving instructions. You’re not spending the day at your office watching cat videos. Make them notice your contributions!
You can’t build trust in a day. It requires some effort, time, and a lot of character. If you focus on the five tips discussed above, you’ll get there soon enough.