Here's what I know: leaders need to build trust

Peter Done: Group Managing Director and Founder

May 05 2022

Trust is key to any relationship – and work is no exception. You might be the boss, but you still have to earn your worker’s trust.

Your staff depend on you – but dependency isn’t collaboration. You don’t earn trust by being intimidating, threatening, or discouraging. You earn trust by being honest, reasonable, and supportive.

A good leader knows how important trust is. If your staff don’t trust you, why should they share your goals? What drives them to work hard? Fear will only go so far…

Lead with tyranny and expect toxicity. Without trust, predict your business forecast to be bleak, with a strong chance of burnout and high staff turnover.

So, how do you earn trust? There is no one-size-fits-all solution – but the first place to look is at yourself. You should lead by example. Make good on your promises. Your staff should believe you’re as committed as they are – otherwise what’s the point?

The best leaders are self-aware. They know themselves and their staff. They’re authentic. They think carefully about their decisions – and try not to let bias get in the way.

They leave their ego at the door and embrace opportunities to develop their skills. You might not get it right all the time – and that’s okay. Being able to recognise your shortcomings will help you become a better boss.

The next place to look is how you treat others. Are you fair? Do you involve staff in your decisions before you make them? Do you listen? A trustworthy leader is more receptive than directive.

The third place to look is how you show your appreciation. Do your staff feel like the company cares about them – not just their work? How can you recognise staff achievements and make every worker feel heard? Let your staff know how important they are. Explain that you’re always looking for ways to improve their experience. And back up your words with actions.

Peninsula On-Demand has a raft of online CPD certified sessions to help sharpen your management skills. Just head over to your on-demand service to access your bank of e-learning sessions.

And if you’d like to speak to an expert in the meantime, we’re always on-hand to help. Call us on 0844 892 2772 for practical tips on how to improve employee relations and more.

Alternatively, take advantage of our employee assistance program (EAP) to support your workers when they need it the most. Whether it be access to face-to-face counselling, wellbeing resources, or urgent medical help, call an EAP expert today on 08448922493.

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