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The pandemic has tested the limits of every organization from resilience, adaptability, and the trust between managers and their employees.
When the pandemic began, many employees were sent home to work. The sudden autonomy illuminated trust issues, perceived or otherwise, between employees and managers. Expressing trust while monitoring performance is a balancing act which can be difficult when workers can’t be visually monitored and are isolated.
And now as some employees transition back to in-person work, while others remain remote, employers are still facing the challenge of conveying trustworthiness while holding employees accountable. Here are some tips to help mangers build or rebuild trust among their employees.
Give Trust to Get Trust
As the saying goes, you’ve got to give trust to get trust. Managers must trust their employees and in turn employees will trust them back. Trust does need to be earned however, so managers should not trust blindly. Employers should take employees at their word and give them the benefit of the doubt until there is reason not to.
Stand Up for Employees
One way for managers to build trust is to help employees when they need it. When a manager stands up for an employee, it builds trust. If a manager throws an employee under a bus, they will lose the ability to earn that employee’s trust.
No one is perfect. And employees don’t expect their managers to be either, but they do expect them to acknowledge their mistakes. Both parties should learn from past mistakes and develop themselves professionally.
Consistency is a good way to build trust. This includes carefully responding to a situation and setting clear expectations between managers and employees. When managers demonstrate consistency, employees may feel more comfortable speaking to them and can more easily predict how they will react.
Clearly defined values work in tandem with consistency. When an employee knows where their managers stand on certain aspects, like their values, it can help them align themselves for the benefit of the overall team.
Not following through on a promise is one sure way to erode trust. Managers should be transparent when dealing with employees. This includes keeping them in the loop about developments and not over-promising.
Be clear when communicating to employees by using simple language and be clear about expectations. Being wishy-washy can make it hard for employees to understand where someone is coming from, their intent, and to trust the message being conveyed.
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This blog is intended to be a compilation of information and resources pulled from federal, state, and local agencies. This is not intended to be legal advice. For up to the minute information and guidance on COVID-19, please follow the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and your local health organizations.
National Insurance Services is not a law firm and no opinion, suggestion, or recommendation of the firm or its employees shall constitute legal advice. Readers are advised to consult with their own attorney for a determination of their legal rights, responsibilities and liabilities, including the interpretation of any statute or regulation, or its application to the readers’ business activities.