Why is trust-building an important aspect of corporate leadership? As an executive leader, your employees will likely follow your directives regardless of the amount of trust they have in you. Still, there is a great deal of value in taking the time to ensure that you are building a relationship of trust with your employees.

Trust is a two-way street.

Creating a high-trust work environment means building your employee’s trust in you. It also means having the courage to trust in the abilities of your employees. When we feel trusted, we are better able to trust the other party, too. 

What are the benefits of building trust?

There are many benefits to creating a high-trust working environment for your team. Building trust creates an environment in which individuals feel empowered to take risks for the sake of innovation and improvement. This feeling of safety allows employees to express their ideas more freely while planning and collaborating. 

Studies show that employees working in a high-trust environment are less stressed and more productive. They take fewer sick days and they are much more likely to actively engage with the organization. 

Conversely, growing trust in your employees’ abilities can allow you as a leader to experience similar benefits, too. There is clear value in being able to trust the judgment of your employees, rather than taking all accountability and decision-making onto your own shoulders. 

How can leaders build trust?

Building trust with your employees can be easy. Keep the following tips in mind to maximize trust at your organization. 

Be honest.

Honesty is the best policy when it comes to building trust. Strive to stick to your word and keep your promises. When your employees see that you are holding yourself accountable, their trust will grow.

Explain the reasons behind your decisions.

As a leader, it is your responsibility to make all manner of decisions for your team. Explain the reasons behind your decisions–answer whatever questions your employees might have to clear up any confusion or doubts. Taking the time to be transparent about why you make the choices you do will go a long way in strengthening your employees’ trust in you. 

Ask for help.

It may seem counterintuitive to improve as a leader by showing vulnerability. However, asking for help can be a great way to build trust. Requesting input or collaboration can trigger feelings of trust in an individual. Asking for help also shows that you are confident and secure enough in your leadership abilities to ask when assistance or input is needed.

Avoid micromanaging.

Micromanagement is a top offender when it comes to breaking down trust in the work environment. Give your employees a chance to show that they are great planners and decision-makers, and that they can do their job well without excessive management. 

Acknowledge great work.

When your employees feel rewarded for performing well, they trust that you will recognize their continued good work. This is a natural way to incentivize excellence and productivity among your employees.

What trust-building methods can you implement today to foster a safe and productive environment for your team? Contact LEAP to learn more about how to develop powerful and effective leadership skills.