It’s pretty difficult to be your best at work if you don’t trust your boss. When the word is out that a leader can’t be trusted, individuals will think there’s too much to risk to put both feet in and actively engage.
Either trust or distrust becomes a manager’s brand.
But what does it mean to have your employees’ trust? According to The Human Capital Institute (HCI), trust occurs when one is willing to put themselves at risk based on another individual’s actions.
If employees find you untrustworthy,they will talk about it. The Edelman survey on trust found that employees are the most credible voices on multiple topics including the work environment, integrity, innovation and business practices.
This report also revealed that employees are growing more distrusting and skeptical of institutions and leadership. Nearly one out of three employees don’t trust their employer. And more than two thirds feel that CEOs aren’t focused on their long-term performance.
TRUST AND ENGAGEMENT
What does trust have to do with engagement? First of all, trust is the foundation to engaging leadership. According to a Gallup study, a solid foundation of trust can lead to increased productivity, profitability and lower turnover.
And in Great Place to Work’s annual report titled, The Business Case or a High Trust Culture (that surveys over 7,200 organizations in 52 countries representing over 11 million employees), the study shows that companies with trust factors enjoy these benefits:
- Higher stock market returns than the market average
- Lower turnover rates by 50% than industry competitors
- Increased levels of engagement, innovation, satisfaction and agility
We’ve all heard the old adage,“People don’t leave companies, they leave managers.” Why is that? Generally it’s grounded from a trust issue. Either the individual is skeptical of being favorably graded or perhaps do not trust their manager to do what’s right and be honest. So how does this cost the organization?
For one thing, the company has now lost an employee and there’s a cost to fill that position. In a study by the Society for Human Resource Management,it shows that the average cost to hire an employee is $4,129, with around 42days to fill a position.
Another research by SHRM shows that it takes up to 50-60% of an employee’s annual salary to find a direct replacement.Distrust can be quite costly, summing up to a total of 90-200% of an employee’s annual salary.
BUILDING AND MAINTAINING TRUST
Leaders cannot fully engage others without trust. Why? The leader’s motives, credibility and actions will be suspect. They will be consistently questioned and subject to much cynicism.
If you want your employees to open up, take chances, be emotionally involved in their work and give more of their discretionary efforts, you must recognize the need to build a trusting relationship with your people and learn how to maintain it.
You can begin the process with:
- Being consistently predictable. Yes, that’s correct because employees look to leaders whose behavior they can predict. Build a history of experiences where people know they can always count on you. Your consistency allows them to take risks with ease and put both feet in because your future behavior is predictable.
- Being consistently authentic. Yes, it’s quite appealing to them when you remove any hidden agendas and become transparent as you communicate with your workforce. Engage them with your personal aspirations and inquire about theirs. The era is over for big boss and little people. Allow your workforce to see that your focus isn’t always on work, but also is on them personally.
Typically, trust communicates shared purpose, goals and objectives; demonstrates consistently doing the right thing and acting with values; and illustrates accountability in keeping commitments — making it easier for employees to feel safe at being open, transparent and bringing issues to light.
Remember, trust is the foundation to engaging leadership and when leadership isn’t engaging, the workplace cannot flourish.
At DecisionLab, we are here to support you with operating an effective organization and reducing financial waste. We have worked with leaders at all levels to optimize performance, build strong leaders and modernize growth. You can start by identifying the causes of your own personal patterns. Download our free high-performance wellbeing exercises that build morale, improve communication, boost productivity and optimize growth.