Many corporate leaders can’t seem to put their fingers on what exactly the reason is behind falling employee motivation and productivity. In uncertain times and economic upheaval, and even in general, fostering trust in the workplace is overlooked constantly.
Not only it is a fundamental driving force behind employee motivation and creativity, there are many crucial reasons behind why trust matters in the workplace.
If it isn’t fostered within the environment. There are tangible consequences such as loss of money, time, and reputation.
Prioritizing Trust Is Essential
Employees who are distrustful or resentful toward their employers cannot be expected to perform efficiently. They will be characterized by constantly asking their team leaders for guidance out of fear of admonishment in case something goes wrong. They will feel no affinity toward the company and its goals, and even not support and trust one another.
What this does in any company is lead to an inevitable breakdown in communications that is disastrous, or it will fester other serious problems. Their creativity will be hindered since they won’t share any ideas they are having out of fear of those ideas being stolen from them without due credit. They will have negativity against their leaders and actual talent will end up abandoning the workplace to find better prospects.
Trust Is Important for Goodwill and Communication
No team can be successful if there is a problem in communicating with each other. A lack of trust also leads to less goodwill for others in the workplace and that is a very toxic environment to work in. We have all been in that position where someone higher up in the hierarchy sent us a strongly worded email, and we felt like they were being too reprimanding or condescending.
If we have a relationship of trust with the sender, we can inquire as to whether they sound off, resolve the issue that is worrying them, and maintain professionalism. If we don’t trust them, we are likely to think they are admonishing us and are more focused on sending them an equally rude message.
This results in workplace conflict and is a direct consequence of employees and employers not trusting one another.
Getting Things Done Relies on Trust
Do you wonder why employees working for some of the most successful entrepreneurs are very content with their jobs? That’s mainly because fostering the ability to have other people trust you unreservedly is the top indicator of great leadership. When managing employees, the main thing that leads to a mutually successful and beneficial relationship is only achieved via respect and trust.
This is called Referent Power and the basic concept is that getting things done relies on trusting the managers and the process. Employees will not like being thrown in the deep end and directed for uncharted projects by someone they don’t trust.
Psychological Safety and its Importance
Google, one of the most successful companies in the world, researched what makes their employees so keen and productive in teamwork. The one main factor identified was the element of psychological safety while in the corporation. Feeling truly respected, valued, and credited for your work is only possible when trust is prioritized by the company, creating what is called psychological safety. Manifesting creativity without fear of getting fired, reprimanded, and disrespected in the workplace only happens in workplaces where trust is a prevalent element.
Decrease in Fear
If your company has developed trust, progress will only follow. Good channels of support and communication will be established, where employees can speak openly about their problems. What mistrust does is breed fear. Many people think remaining aloof or stern will make their employees respect them, and that’s not true because employees will feel undervalued.
Fear breeds a lack of loyalty, reduced productivity, and has a tangible negative monetary impact on the business.
Asking Questions Is Key
If your employees don’t trust you enough to ask a question for fear of being made to feel humiliated or stupid, forget profits, your business is likely to tank. Everyone can think of at least one instance in the workplace where they wanted to ask a question to help them understand something better but didn’t want to appear ignorant. This is a prime example of a lack of trust establishment.
No Trust Means High Turnovers
If employees feel constantly pressured and cannot even share their tribulations with a trusted member in the workplace, burnout soon follows. Lack of trust and burnout single-handedly makes employees 2.5 times more likely to quit their job. Sixty-three percent of US workers phone in sick routinely while 67% are burnt out, and avoid conversations about tiredness and hostile workspaces simply because they don’t have a trusting rapport with their employers.
There is a simple solution to high employee turnover: 28% of workers have indicated that they would stay on their job longer if trust was fostered within the organization and transparency was the norm. This is one of the most important reasons behind why trust matters in the workplace.
How to Foster Trust in the Workplace
These are a few ways that you can focus on creating a positive environment in a company and foster trust successfully.
Sustain and Maintain it
You cannot expect employees to trust you right off the bat just because you think the work environment is affable. The most important thing that makes employees trust employers fully is when they adopt the same values that they preach. You cannot expect to come in at late hours, behave inappropriately with female employees, and tell others not to engage in that same behavior.
Tell the Truth
Be open with your employees when something is going wrong in the business instead of giving them the cold shoulder, or lashing out at them, or telling them what they want to hear instead of the truth. Telling them the truth about all matters of business, compensation, and procedures will make them more invested in the company. Truth-telling doesn’t mean brutal honesty; be compassionate and accommodating to people’s feelings.
Many people think that leaders are always the talkers in the room, all eyes on them, rapt with attention. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Any company wanting to foster trust should have leaders who actively listen, and employees who actively speak. Having constructive dialogue, holding feedback meetings, and giving or taking critiques are extremely important in creating trust in the workplace.
While adapting to changes in the business, make sure that the importance attached to trust is always maintained. Consistently keeping promises and rewarding employees for good work will help create trust in the business.
In the end, the question of why trust matters in the workplace covers extensive possibilities. If you consider a few examples of business giants adopting policies that increase productivity, you will be able to realize how important it is for the growth of any organization. Trust in the workplace fosters sustainable, beneficial working relationships, an environment of positivity, and is a financially viable initiative as well.