5 Ways to Build or Break Trust in the Workplace

Trust in the workplace is essential for success and steady progress. It establishes how well employees manage tasks and work together. It sets the foundation for a company’s growth or downfall. Psychology Today reports that trust may be “the new workplace currency.” Its presence in the workplace helps shape whether or not a company will be successful.

How to Build Trust in the Workplace

The importance of trust in the workplace remains fairly clear to almost everyone. After all, no one wants to be constantly looking over their shoulder at work. The question is, how do you build that trust within a team?

1. Model Company Values

According to a survey of business professionals by the Human Capital Institute, “Employees at strong-performing organizations see their leaders as consistently walking the talk by modeling and reflecting the organization’s values.” A trustworthy work environment recognizes and embodies its company’s core values.

2. Foster Teamwork and Collaboration

Employees who empathize with one another and focus on the goals of the team over their personal goals instill a sense that “everyone is pulling together to accomplish a shared vision.” By engaging in teamwork and having a common objective in place, coworkers become united and are willing to be more productive at work.

3. Display Personal Involvement

The top CEOs of 2015 all have one thing in common: they have a passion and active interest in their company, their employees, and their company’s mission. CEO of Nike, Mark Parker, doesn’t just run Nike—he was also a key inventor in the company. A creator of multiple patents, Parker is known in the company for inspiring the  “Nike Air” line of shoes. Employees who are involved in their company and bring their own inspiration show others that they are committed, interested, and inspired by their work.

4. Open Lines of Communication

Effective communication in the workplace can take many forms. In successful companies, it means everything from listening carefully to each other and providing good feedback, to knowing how to spot and resolve concerns. Some ways to encourage effective communication in your workplace can include holding company training to teach proper email etiquette or enacting an open door policy.

5. Practice Absolute Transparency

It’s easy to create trust in the workplace when coworkers have a sense of transparency among each other. When everyone is honest and acts with integrity, they become more approachable and easy to trust. When you can trust that everyone is willing to be honest with each other at all times, you have an opportunity to strengthen as a team.

5 Behaviors That Lose Trust in the Workplace

Try as we might, trust issues in the workplace still do occur. After all, building trust with employees can’t be accomplished overnight. That said, these next five behaviors are a surefire way to create an feeling of distrust amongst co-workers.

1. Habitual Lying

Calling in sick when you’re not really sick seems fairly harmless to most employees. However, according to the workforce management company, Kronos, this type of behavior can cost a company an average of 7% of profits per year. Although lies may seem small at first, they have the power to undermine the integrity of the workplace.

2. Dodging Responsibility

If you have ever heard the words “That’s not my job!” you might know an unapproachable employee. Common characteristics of unapproachability include spending a lot of time on the phone, on social media websites, or taking long or frequent breaks at work. There are many signals of becoming unapproachable at work, but companies who can spot and fix them have more success.

3. Engaging in Poor Communication

Managers who skirt around bad news and employees who would rather mask their mistakes than report them directly are prime examples of poor communicators. HR consultant Michele O’Donnell writes, “Organizations that have a low level of trust for management tend to have low productivity rates.” It is vital in the workplace to have communication across channels, openly and cooperatively. When employees don’t communicate openly, productivity and workplace trust suffer.

4. Exhibiting Self-Centeredness

When collaboration is key in a trusting work environment, acting selfishly can be highly destructive. A coworker who only acts on their own interests pushes away other coworkers and might appear to act haphazardly or unexpectedly, ignoring the goals of the company. It is difficult to trust employees who are self-centered because they can be willing to put the business at risk for their own benefit.

5. Treating Work as a Pastime

Executing your business as if it’s a past time or merely a means to make money is a surefire way to hinder the progress of your team. To gain success, you need more than just a daily routine or a distant dream. For instance, Steve Jobs didn’t just revolutionize the technological world with his idea to “Dream Bigger.” He changed workplaces, everywhere. When employees can feel that they believe in the work they are doing, businesses tend to succeed. In fact, when employees come to work with energy and passion, then success in business is almost inevitable.

The first step to improving your workplace can begin with you. Visit KnowledgeCity to find a range of courses from Coaching Performance to Communicating Organizational Change, to Conducting Feedback. Try it free here. KnowledgeCity makes learning simple and efficient, letting you become who you want to be from the comfort of your seat.

Photo credit:
©Marco Antonio Torres via Flickr/ CC BY
Celestine Chua via Foter.com / CC BY

Previous Post
Next Post
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Join 80,000+ Fellow HR Professionals. Get expert recruiting and training tips straight
to your inbox, and become a better HR manager.

Select which topics to subscribe to: