How managers and employees can build mutual trust

How managers and employees can build mutual trust

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Open communication, honesty, reliability — when you show your employees you trust them, you know they'll be able to trust you and have your back.

There is no denying that trust goes a long way in impacting how employees feel about coming to work — for instance their engagement levels, their comfort level interacting with their managers, and their overall perception of the workplace.

Likewise, an employee's level of trust in their managers can also greatly affect how managers perform and, ultimately, treat their employees.

On that note, a recent study by ResumeLab in the US has shared the top five ways managers can inspire trust in their employees/teams, and the top four ways employees can generate trust with their managers. Interestingly, the top three were shared between both sides.

*The online survey involved 1,116 respondents in the US. However, HRO believes the data is relevant and applicable to our audience in Asia.

How managers can build trust with their teams

  1. Be honest
  2. Be reliable
  3. Work hard and deliver on their goals
  4. Give constructive feedback to employees
  5. Care about their employees' wellbeing

How employees can build trust with their managers

  1. Be honest
  2. Work hard and deliver on their goals
  3. Be reliable
  4. Communicate openly with their manager and share feedback

When employees lack trust in their manager/organisation

As seen in the survey, employees who had one or more issues with trust at the workplace revealed the following:

  • 56% had left a job because they did not feel trusted.
  • 63% said that a lack of trust at work had affected their mental health.
  • 54% said trust has to be earned by a new manager, vs. 46% who trust them on day one.
  • 73% said their workplace used computer monitoring software.

Zooming in on the fourth point — monitoring, the survey found that 60% of employees felt the need to delete an instant message at work, out of fear of it being read.

The concern towards monitoring, however, seemed to lessen as the number of employees in the workplace increased. In particular, of those who worked at a company with one to two employees, 80% had deleted texts; and of those with three to five employees at the workplace, 73% had deleted text.

The results further showcased:

  • Workplaces with six to 10 employees — 66% had deleted texts
  • Workplaces with 11-20 employees — 46% had deleted texts
  • Workplaces with 20+ employees — 26% had deleted texts.

That said, overall, a majority of employees still expressed high levels of trust — even beyond their managers:

  • 91% trusted their manager.
  • 85% trusted colleagues at the same level of seniority as them.
  • 81% had trust in senior management and executives.

Photo / 123RF

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