As the adage goes “trust is won, not given”. For employers, this means winning over employees and building trust throughout the organization. Trust is more than an emotional response it is a response to aligning goals and objectives in both actions and words. This means delivering what is promised and holding everyone accountable for their work while making room for individuals to make mistakes. Trust requires open and honest communication and an environment that supports employees. However, many employers are unsure where to start, here is a brief roadmap to build trust.
Measure and Analyze Employee Engagement
The first step in building trust is knowing where your company stands with employee engagement. This requires getting feedback from employees and managers at every level of the organization, primarily via the use of a 360-degree feedback survey or through sophisticated means using NLP (Natural Language Processing), for gaging employee engagement. Performing an analysis will provide leaders an indicator of what they are doing well and which areas they are not doing so well. Low employee engagement is affecting every organization where the average engagement score for most organizations hovers between 50-64% engagement. With some companies with engagement scores as low as 25%. However, the Fortune 100 best Companies to Work for the survey had better average employee engagement scores at hovering around 85%.
Asking and Listening to Feedback
It is important to obtain multiple perspectives and listen to feedback. This of course requires asking for feedback. Asking for feedback from employees demonstrates that the leadership is personally invested, but you also must address and act on the feedback. If leaders decide to act on the feedback, they must do the things they say they will do and hold themselves accountable for their responses. In failures, address them and use them as learning tools without blaming others. Leaders need to be authentic and genuine in asking for and responding to feedback. Yet, leaders need to ask guiding questions to get the most out of feedback. The goal is for employees to be engaged and not spoon-fed answers and ideas from managers.
A change in management style from being managers to becoming coaches will help develop relationships and promote trust. Making this step will improve team cohesion and help develop employees at all levels. Coaches are facilitators, they are a resource for employees. Coaches regularly interact and show recognition of their teams. Coaches need to be able to actively listen to their teams’ feedback and provide advice for both their team members’ training and development. Coaches need to have open and honest communication with team members, this helps promote trust and productivity.
Improving accountability at every level of an organization through measuring and collecting data will help promote trust, by holding managers, coaches, and employees accountable for their actions. Being accountable does not mean imposing harsh punishments for mistakes or dips in performance. Rather it is about empowering employees, allowing them to make mistakes by taking calculated risks when warranted and learning from it. However, accountability requires measuring success and failures. To get accountability right you must measure and collect data from employees, managers, routines, processes, and more. Without consistent measurement of performance, communication, feedback, objectives, engagement, and more, all decisions will be based on gut feelings or emotional whims. To improve trust leadership needs to be consistent and fair. For help with building trust and accountability within organizations use beepHR’s built-in performance management system to track engagement, perform 360-degree reviews, communicate with, and show appreciation to employees.