Looks like many people are experiencing some “trust issues” – with their bosses. And no matter which side of the org chart you’re on, that’s troubling news.
Less than three-quarters (74%) of employees say they trust their managers. That’s according to a new survey of more than 3,000 people conducted by BlessingWhite.
The picture’s even bleaker for those the highest up on the food chain: Only 57% of people trust their company’s senior leaders.
That lack of trust leads to everything from disengaged employees to productivity drains to turnover.
Which means it’s critical to cultivate a corporate culture of trust.
Easier said than done, especially these days, when many organizations are still being forced to scale back and cut costs – often in ways that impact employees rather personally.
It doesn’t mean it’s impossible, though.
You can cultivate trust throughout your departments by making four small changes that might not even be obvious to most staffers, but their attitudes will certainly change for the better:
- Listen almost as much as you speak. Yes, you’re the manager so you need to offer direction, guidance, etc. But if you do all the talking, folks will feel like you aren’t even interested in hearing their ideas – or looking out for their best interests. That’s likely not the case at all, but it can be interpreted that way. Tough to trust someone like that.
- Keep an open door policy. This one you want to take very literally. Even if nothing covert’s going on, most people will think it is if managers spend a good portion of the day in closed door meetings. And what folks can imagine is going on is likely a lot worse than anything that actually is going down.
- Involve folks in the decision-making process. Of course, you can’t necessarily let the masses select the health insurance carrier you’ll use. But you can let them give input on the plan features that are most important to them. And there’s certainly room in the day-to-day decision-making process to include a little more democracy.
- Show them you trust them. That is one of the fastest routes to gaining people’s faith. If you give staffers responsibilities that send them a message that you believe in them and their capabilities, you’ll quickly earn their trust in return.