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Trust is key for any relationship to be successful, and this is especially true for manager-employee relationships. Managers rely on their employees to carry out the daily tasks necessary for the success of their business. Employees rely on their managers for guidance, support and leadership.
But in order for trust to be built, both managers and employees need to put in the work. This can be more difficult for managers who work remotely or who have to split their time between so many different people and tasks.
To help you work on building trust with your team, these tips from the members of Young Entrepreneur Council are a great starting point.
Young Entrepreneur Council members offer advice on building trust between managers and employees.
Photos courtesy of the individual members.
1. Be Clear And Honest
Trust is symbiotic with honesty. As a manager, you must be clear and honest with your teams in both positive and negative interactions. I have noticed the largest barrier between employees and management is formed because they sugarcoat situations both sides know are bad, thus creating resentment and distrust in all conversations. If you can trust each other to calmly and fairly have the hard conversations, you can have all conversations. – Jason Azevedo, MRCA
2. Treat Your Employees Like People
Remember that your employees are people too. They have real lives and real situations that arise. Of course, we want everyone to be punctual and stay their full scheduled time. When situations arise, however, showing them compassion and allowance to go care for their families will go so much further than demanding they stick to the working hours. When you need more from them in the future, they will feel it is a partnership and perform in a way you can be proud of because they know you were there for them when they needed you to be. – Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo
3. Let Your Team Share And Develop Ideas
Help your team articulate and build upon ideas. This often means holding back when you think you have the answer already. Then, spend time with each team member and ask questions to positively “co-create” the answer together. It can take a little longer to develop the ideas, but I often find the team sees things that I missed, and we get a better solution to whatever problem we were addressing together. – JT Allen, myFootpath LLC
4. Provide Guidance And Support Whenever Needed
It’s important to analyze when trust is built in a relationship. Trust is built when there are moments when an individual could be let down, but the other person steps up and reassures, guides, supports or leads, depending on the situation. As a manager, building trust is all about your ability to look through the crisis, challenge or situation and see the person standing before you. See their intentions, strengths and weaknesses. Provide guidance and support. It’s about stepping up to the plate and leading through the situation in a way that your employee comes out the other side stronger and wiser than they were before. Over time, this steadfastness will build incredible trust. – Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker
5. Set An Example
As the leader, trust has to start with you. Trust is only possible when someone lowers their guard first. While that is scary, everything in business is scary. Go ahead and set the example. Your team will follow in your footsteps sooner than you think. They will trust you if you live with integrity. Integrity means checking your ego at the door and practicing the ownership you preach. Here’s a story that I believe illustrates what I mean. Recently, after I talked to my team about timeliness, I found myself running late to a meeting. I could have ignored it, but instead, I decided to set the example of ownership. I texted the group, admitted my mistake and had them send me their Starbucks order. I showed up with ten drinks in hand. Lead by example. There is no alternative method. – Tyler Bray, TK Trailer Parts
6. Accept Their Strengths And Weaknesses
Building trust among your employees is important but tricky. You can easily manage to do that, however, by creating an inclusive culture through accepting and trusting the strengths and weaknesses of your employees. Instead of disregarding them for their weaknesses, learn to empower them by offering ways to improve those areas. Encourage the team to work better by praising their strengths, appreciating their achievements and celebrating milestones. Such small steps might seem trivial, but they actually help build trust and create a more positive work environment. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster
7. Communicate Frequently And Openly
Frequent communication is the foundation of confidence between managers and employees. Anyone in a managerial role needs to respond quickly and helpfully when employees ask questions and join in casual chatter from time to time. I’ve also found it helpful to share insights that I find important. I either share news and ideas on Slack or save them for a monthly internal email. People need to talk to each other and help each other over time to build mutual understanding and trust, and this is an area where managers need to be proactive. So, make sure that you’re active on your company channels and that you pitch in wherever needed. Doing so shows people that you’re listening and attentive to their concerns. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
8. Maintain Accountability
Accountability should go both ways. It’s just that simple. If you expect your subordinates to trust you, you have to exhibit trustworthy behavior. Don’t just expect them to report to you mechanically. As a manager, you can keep them informed about newer projects and recommend opportunities to help them grow. You can keep them in the loop with the occurrences inside the organization. A trustworthy manager is honest and approachable. These qualities can only come forward through accountability. Accountability will also keep you humble as a manager and help you manage your team better. Your team will feel more comfortable opening up about problems at the early stage that you can resolve on time, ensuring a better workflow and building a positive manager-employee relationship. – Candice Georgiadis, Digital Day
9. Assign High-Priority Responsibilities
Managers must have the ability to rely on their employees, and the best way to build trust is by leaving them with certain high-priority responsibilities. By leaning on your employees, you’re directly implying that they are capable of handling tasks without a need for micro-management. – Jordan Edelson, Appetizer Mobile LLC