Allevity Blog

Tricking Your Employees into Trusting You

Mar 23, 2015

Trust. It’s one of those crucial components we all know to be necessary for healthy, functioning relationships to grow and thrive. All relationships, really. Romantic relationships, friendships, familial relationships, and yes – work relationships. If you want your employees to provide their best work and follow your leadership, you need to first earn their trust.

So how disheartening is it to hear that 1 in 4 workers don’t trust their employers?

That’s according to a study by the American Psychological Association (APA) and it highlights a pretty dire issue within the workforce. If your employees don’t trust you, you had better believe you aren’t getting their best work. And turnover is also likely to be a very expensive problem for you to deal with.

So let’s talk about tricking your employees into trusting you!

Reward Performance

People like to be acknowledged for a job well done, and positive reinforcement almost always proves more beneficial than negative. So the first key to tricking your employees into trusting you is to reward their good performance. Recognize their accomplishments and provide benefits for achievement. You don’t have to go overboard or blow your budget; even a surprise coffee and spontaneous “thank you” can do wonders.

Accountability

Employees aren’t just concerned about how you treat them; they are also always conscious of how your entire team is being managed. Showing favoritism or allowing some to get away with behavior that others would be docked for is a great way to lose trust. Be sure you are holding each of your employees, and yourself, to the same standards. Always. 

Fair Pay

It doesn’t take much research for people to find out what the average rate of pay is for others in their position in any given geographic area. Most of that information is compiled and readily available online. So paying people what they are worth, and on par with what others of similar talent and experience are making, is important. Shortchanging your staff is not a great way to earn their loyalty. 

Realistic Job Descriptions

Job descriptions are like a contract between you and your employees. Which means that what they say, matters. Yes, all jobs are fluid to an extent. And there will always be some duties that come up which weren’t directly defined prior to hiring. But ensuring your job descriptions are at least mostly in line with the duties involved in the actual job is important if you want your employees to trust that you didn’t pull a bait and switch on them when you extended the job offer. 

Lead By Example

No one trusts the boss who writes up employees for being 5 minutes late, but then spends every Friday morning on the golf course himself. If you want your employees to work and behave a certain way, you need to first be willing to adhere to the same standards. Otherwise, your employees will quickly deem you to be a hypocrite, greatly reducing any motivation they may have to do as they are told.  

Ask, Don’t Tell

Yes, you are the boss. Which means that your employees should have to do what you say. But no one wants to follow a tyrant, and how you give orders can directly affect how likely your employees are to comply. Or at least, how happy they will be about it in the process. So try asking rather than telling when issues need to be addressed. Be the boss who is approachable – not the one who leads by invoking fear. 

Don’t Think of it As a Trick

Guess what? Good employers are the ones that people want to follow.  They don’t have to trick their employees into trusting them.  Remember, your employees are people too.  And while you do have to lead, there is a way to do that with sincerity and compassion.  Earning trust isn’t a trick; it’s a byproduct of ethical leadership

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