Trust is the backbone of any relationship. You can’t have a successful marriage or harmonious family without trust, and the same is true of the bond between colleagues. Want a healthy office environment? Want employees to stick around? Want to attract the best of the best talent to work at your firm? Then developing trust in the workplace needs to be a top priority.
Why Trust in the Workplace Matters So Much
Every human being wants to feel safe, and safety is much more than a matter of knowing you’re not in physical danger. For human beings, safety depends on belonging. Only through the construction of community have we, as a species, been able to rise to the top. We’re not the strongest animals out there, we’re not the fastest, we haven’t even always been the most intelligent…but we’re the best at building community, and that’s made all the difference.
Do you know what makes us good at community building? Trust and communication. These two things are quite literally vital human needs, which is why if they’re lacking in your office, you have no hope of achieving employee satisfaction or loyalty.
Building Trust at Work: Five Strategies
- Make Trust a Topic of Conversation
Next time you schedule a team meeting, put trust on the agenda. Talking about the lack of trust that may permeate your office is, ironically, the only way to turn the tide. At first, employees may be slow to open up, but as they discover that it’s safe to share, you’ll find that progress comes quickly.
- Eliminate Blame and Shame
Everyone wants to do their best work, but oftentimes people fail to do so because they’re afraid. Afraid to blow it, afraid to overinvest, afraid to go unseen, afraid to attract attention, afraid, afraid, afraid, and—deep breath—you’re probably the cause. If your management game depends on pointing out mistakes rather than celebrating triumphs and seeking learning opportunities, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. Blame and shame are anathema to trust, and—well—you already know how much trust matters.
- Value Your Employees as People
Your team isn’t composed of children in need of oversight. It’s stacked with talented value creators, and seeing this is step one to gaining their trust and earning their productivity.
- Role Model Good Leadership
Trusting leadership begins with being a good leader, and good leaders focus their energy on their employees—not on what their employees do or don’t produce. Show your team you care about them, and they will show you the numbers.
Your employees want to trust you, but are only able to do so in the measure that you clearly communicate your expectations, aims, and goals. What’s more, you can’t expect your team to talk openly about their needs if you don’t do the same regarding yours. Trust depends on communication (and vice versa), and the cycle starts with you.
Want to learn more about nurturing deep and sustainable trust? Well, if you’re signed up for our Law Firm Admin Bootcamp, you’re in luck! Members will gain access to an exclusive 2-hour special event focused specifically on grounding and growing trust. Join today and be part of this special event (and all the other exclusive events we have on the schedule for the future). Trust us…your firm can’t afford to miss out on these eye-opening and transformational training events.