5 Ways to Earn the Trust of Your Employees

Want engaged, productive employees?

You need them to trust you before you can get the results you’re looking for out of your workforce.


Trust is one of the biggest issues managers and company leaders are up against—there’s an inherent sense of distrust between management and employees at so many organizations and it really puts up a number of roadblocks to an organization achieving full potential.

Perhaps you have earned a “bad manager” reputation or there’s simply a feeling of a lack of transparency in your organization—regardless, it’s important to create trust and bridge communication gaps.

Here are 5 ways you can improve the sense of trust your employees have for company managers:

Give It to Receive It

When you want your employees to trust you, an important way to build that is by conveying the sense that you trust them. When employees feel like they’re trusted by their bosses, there’s more of a sense of transparency and empowerment on the part of employees.

Start working toward this by giving your employees more responsibility and doing less micromanaging. Give them a level of freedom to show you believe in them and feel they can get the job done and you’re likely to be rewarded with more trust on their part.

Take the Blame

One of the primary reasons employees tend to lack trust in their managers is because they have the sense they’re only willing to accept credit and not blame, even when it’s applicable.

Be willing to step up and accept responsibility for your mistakes if they arise and your team is going to see you as someone who is not only honest, but also relatable and someone who has a good sense of character.

Be Willing to Listen

Sometimes there’s the perception managers who want to be the ones doing all the talking, rather than the listening.

If you want to build trust with your employees, take down the talking a bit and instead focus on listening.

Your employees will not only feel more appreciated and trusting when you’re able to show you’re truly listening, but in the process you can also gain valuable insights about your business, your customers, and your workforce that can help you become a better manager and leader.

Don’t Try and Show Your Power

Employees trust people they respect and respect isn’t earned by constant showings of power. Yes, you should be a strong leader but a strong leader is very different from someone who’s constantly making a show of how much power they have in an organization.

Earn trust by being someone who’s conscientious, respectful, willing to listen, and learn and someone who leads by example rather than by fear.

This will help your employees begin to look up to your role as a leader and also feel comfortable coming to you with issues they may have, opening the lines of both trust and overall communication.

Be Up Front

Employees don’t like the sense they’re being lied to or that there’s always secret goings-on in their workplace.

Be open and transparent in every way you can, from how the business is doing to why you may be firing an employee.

Rather than trying to keep it a secret, if you’re planning to fire an employee let them know and be honest about the reasons.

If employees are at risk of being fired, let them know with some type of formalized warning process rather than constantly telling them they’re doing a great job and then blindsiding them with a sudden firing.

It can be difficult to be the bearer of bad news but ultimately when you’re willing to be honest about even the bad things, it’s going to ease the anxiety of your employees and have them view you as someone they can trust to let them know how they’re doing and what the future holds.

November 12, 2014   Updated :March 25, 2015      

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