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5 Ways Managers Build Trust at Work

5 Ways Managers Build Trust at Work

While not all turnover is bad, too often the very best people end up leaving. Here are 5 ways managers can build trust at work. And with increased trust you will increase engagement and reduce turnover. 

Over fifty percent of people leaving their job say their manager could have done something to stop them from leaving. Yet less than one third of those leaving had a conversation with their  manager before they quit.

1.) Actively listen.  

Having sincere conversations with people where you actively listen and tune into what they are saying builds trust. Active listening includes making eye contact, nodding one’s head, leaning in, and of course, putting away any digital device that would distract both you and your team member. These conversations are not about work, but about the employee and what matters to them.

You can create opportunities to listen in a variety of ways including management rounds that are casual, announced ahead of time so people know the boss is coming to their area. This will allow you to chat with people when you walk the department floor. Additionally you can take individuals to coffee break, or lunch, and talk about what matters to them, hold “Coffee with the Boss” once a month and let people share their thoughts about work, hold “Walking Meetings” and get outside to chat about what is going on. Spend time listening even if they are asking you questions, redirect the conversation to them.

2.) Receive feedback.

Hold bi-annual 360 reviews giving everyone an opportunity to share their feedback. Make the review short, 3 questions, and score the question on a 1 to 7 scale. This gives you a number to measure progress. Questions can include:

  • My manager listens to my feedback and takes suggestions.
  • My manager provides the resources I need to do my job.
  • My manager cares about my well-being.
  • My manager is available for questions and concerns.
  • My manager solves problems with other staff when conflict arises.

3.) Be Flexible.

As a result of the disruption of 2020 one of the things employees need and want in their workday is flexibility. Consider allowing employees to flex their start times and how they work giving them autonomy and flexibility. When you set up clear expectations so everyone knows what the desired outcomes are, when they have control over how they perform this function, they are more engaged. 

4.) Create opportunities.

In talking with hundreds of individuals, the one thing that stands out is people feel most supported when they are given increased opportunity to advance themselves. Very often when managers are faced with uncertainty or disruption there may be a tendency to hold onto control even tighter for fear chaos will break loose.

Yet, this is the time to delegate and put your employees to the test. Having a delegation map and plan ahead of time will increase your comfort level in giving people more to do because you would have identified their skills and those opportunities that are available.

Need help delegating?

Do your leaders know how to delegate or create a leadership ladder? The Work Smart Club offers online courses and resources along with an online platform for discussion. Let’s talk about how this online resource can work for your team to empower and engage.

5.) Clear expectations.

As the  manager there are times when staff need help prioritizing their workload. Distraction is at a critical level and people often lose sight of what is the most important work. Make sure you let people know what the focus is, at this moment, and why. Knowing why something is important provides the context and will help people get on board.

As the manager you spend your time in meetings and are very aware of the company’s plans and strategies, but those on the front line are not tuned into strategy. Connect the dots for your team to understand how their work advances the strategic goals and the let them know the difference they are personally making.

Trust is the currency that brings leaders and the front line together. Without it people come to work and go through the motions producing mediocre work. Turnover is high and quality suffers. Negativity and toxicity dominate the culture. With a sincere effort to establish trust you will build a team that consistently gets through challenges and shows up ready to get it done, even when times are tough.  

If you want to develop your leadership skills and become the leader people love to follow, schedule a Strategy Call.  We also have online resources to help you develop management skills. Click the link below to learn more about our online library.


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