Do you trust your team? Or are you biting your nails waiting for a call when you are out of the office?
If you are, you may have fallen into a trust trap! These are patterns small business owners fall into that could affect the performance of their team.
So how can you build trust with your employees? Have you reflected on your own actions? Are you doing any of the following?
1. Talk about employees behind their back.
No one likes gossip! Your employees want to know you are there for them if needed. If they find out they are being disrespected, they’ll lose trust.
Think back to grade school when your teachers showed favouritism. How did you feel then?
When you’re not the favourite, it can be discouraging. And by choosing a favourite, you create borders between employees which makes for a less efficient workflow and a negative environment.
This creates distrust between you and your employees and between employees themselves.
3. Not following through on promises
Your employees want to rely on you, just like you want to rely on them.
If you ask them to complete a task by the end of the day, and they say they will, chances are you expect it to be done. At least that’s how you’d want it to work if you had your dream team.
In the same capacity, your employees also expect you to follow through. You can lead by example and set a standard for people in your company to keep promises.
Now you’re one step closer to that dream team of employees you can trust!
4. Obvious excessive personal spending
There’s a real possibility that you are making less than your employees. You’re strapped for cash and keeping the lights on in your business is hard! But your employees don’t always know that.
Chances are, whether it’s true or not, your employees are under the impression that you make more money than they do.
To maintain trust and equality, try not to flaunt any excessive spending. (Trips, cars, etc.)
For example, a restaurant owner had a high tip out for his staff. And a lot of their tips ended up going back to him because he worked the floor as a bartender. The restaurant was short-staffed and workers felt under-appreciated. The owner came in one day with a new, very expensive hunting gun. He showed it off and bragged about the hunting trip he was going to go on.
The employees felt even worse upon seeing this because it was clear he didn’t NEED the money he took every night, he was making enough as the owner and the bartending money was extra spending cash.
It caused employees to quit! Those that stayed lost motivation and stopped trying to upsell clients, which lost money overall for the business.
5. Poor communication of results
Transparency builds trust with your employees.
Entrepreneur magazine says “your team will feel valued because they’re more likely to be involved in the decision-making process.”
When everyone is working towards a common goal, the quality and quantity of work go up.
6. Chaotic work environment
A chaotic work environment is stressful! It adds more work for your employees and for you.
If you don’t have a handle on the operations of your business it can look like you don’t know what you are doing, which leads people to distrust you as a capable leader. (Even though you are!)
A chaotic work environment can be improved by documenting your systems, that way everyone is on the same page. Plus, they understand what your goals are and how you plan to get there. Which makes it easier to be patient and supportive of your plan because there is a purpose to the chaos.
7. Always telling, not listening.
No one likes being told what to do. You can motivate your employees by giving them autonomy. Listen to your employee’s ideas and bring them into the decision-making process.
Employees feel valued when their voice is heard, which in turn creates trust.
Build trust with your employees!
Trust begins with us, the business owners and leaders—our actions, inactions, words and intentions. If things are not going as planned, if your team is not getting along or doing what you expect of them, consider reflecting on your own behaviour to see where trust may have been broken.
Strengthening trust can start happening immediately with small, consistent actions with good intentions.
How do you build trust with your employees? Let’s exchange methods in the comments!
Until next time, enjoy your Entrepreneurial Journey!