People Management
5 min.

Do Your Employees Trust You?

Véronique Forest
Last updated on 6 Dec. 2023
Published on 12 Aug. 2020
Manager guiding his employees by building a bond of trust with them

Trust between managers and employees is essential to smooth operations in any business.

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Why? Because good work relationships increase staff productivity and foster better team cohesion. They also make for a healthier and more stimulating work environment.

According to an American study, 32% of workers say that their trust in their immediate superior is decisive in their decision of whether to stay or leave.

In the chaos of daily life, it’s easy to neglect interpersonal relationships with our team. Hence the following list of attitudes that promote good employer-employee relationships.

1. Take a Sincere Interest in Your Employees

If you truly wish to bond with your employees, you have to be sincere about it. It’s the same as for any trust-based relationship.

Asking your staff vague questions and pretending you find their answers interesting won’t cut it.

Take some time every week to chat with them, even if you’re busy.

The general director of a department store I worked at went around the place almost every day to chat with employees. This must’ve been extremely time-consuming, but the results spoke for themselves. He knew almost all of his 300 employees by name. Conversely, I never had the opportunity to speak a word to the person who took over after he left. To be honest, I don’t even remember their name—but I’ll never forget Bernard.

2. Take the Time to Get to Know Them

Taking a sincere interest in employees is well and good, but if you don’t make it a habit, the relationship won’t go very far. Reach out to them and tell them your door is always open.

Have regular one-on-one meetings. This is a good way of showing your employees that they matter to you. For example, in Agendrix’s marketing department, we do weekly 10 to 30 minute one-on-one sessions. During these meetings, we discuss our challenges and how to address issues. This approach can work for any workplace. You just have to adjust the duration and frequency of meetings according to your realities.

Also remember that work isn’t everything. Check up on your colleagues regularly, and see how they’re doing in general.

Just asking “How are you?” or “How was your weekend?” doesn’t take much time, but if you never ask, you may come off as a distant person.

You don’t know where to start? Get inspired by our questions: 70 Questions to Break the Ice at Work.

3. Develop Friendships

Did you know that 46% of workers consider that having friends at work contributes to their well-being? This makes sense, considering we spend more time at work than at home.

I believe this includes being on friendly terms with everyone at work, no matter their position in the hierarchy. In my opinion, this is the key to creating a trust-based work environment. This vision is part of Agendrix’s DNA.

To be closer to your team members, try eating with them more often. You’ll get to know them better through informal conversation. Also consider team-building exercises outside of work. You’ll bond naturally.

4. Be Transparent

Take the time to explain your decisions thoroughly so the members of your team feel there’s no injustice. They want to understand the choices you make, especially when they impact their lives.

Treat employees like close collaborators. Share relevant information on the business with them. This will make them even more engaged.

For example, when the COVID-19 pandemic was at its worst, Agendrix’s operations were seriously affected (like most businesses’). Our managers decided to plan weekly meetings to keep us transparently informed of any new developments. We always knew what was going on. This kept the team close-knit and reduced the stress caused by the uncertainty of the situation. It also created a strong bond of trust!

5. Show Vulnerability and Authenticity

The myth of the infallible and authoritarian manager must go. The truth is that showing vulnerability and authenticity are key behaviors in order to become a true leader.

Don’t hesitate to explain what’s on your mind at any moment (especially if you’re overburdened). Your teammates will better understand what you’re dealing with, and your inability to give them as much time as usual. In turn, they’ll feel more inclined to share their challenges and problems since you took the first step. This will also result in a trusting relationship.

Without being an open book, you can also tell your team if you aren’t feeling well. Everyone has days when they’re under the weather. At the end of the day, we’re all human.

You are now ready to review your employee management methods to ensure your team trusts you. You have all the tools you need.

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