In my mind one of the single most important elements of being a successful leader is trust – both trusting your people, and your people trusting you. Whatever industry you are in, and whatever size your business, without trust you run the risk of a disengaged workforce, which will obviously impact on performance, and ultimately your bottom line.
Of course, no amount of HR advice will turn an untrustworthy person into a trustworthy one. However, providing you already have the right motivation, there are things that you can do to ensure that it permeates your organisation.
1. Share your vision
If people know what it is you want to achieve, and how you plan on achieving it, they are more likely to understand the part they will play in that.
2. Actions speak louder than words
It’s no good just saying all the right things – you need to actually do them. In fact, saying all the right things and then not doing them will actually damage trust.
3. Communication is key
Don’t just rely on newsletters and emails. Take time to walk around and talk to the people that are keeping your business running. Building up confidence in your communication will mean that if and when you have more difficult messages to convey, people will listen.
4. Draw on your resources
Don’t underestimate the difference that seeking your team’s thoughts and ideas can make. Even if you eventually choose a different route, feeling part of the process is a key part of engagement.
5. Take a step back
Micromanagement is perhaps one of the single most damaging things to trust. You must trust people to do their jobs, and to do them well. Provided you have followed a comprehensive recruitment process, and have a clear focus on performance management, you should be able to do this without fear.
Trust isn’t built overnight – but these small meaningful steps will help you to lay the essential foundations for a solid future, with your team right by your side.