4 Tips to Rebuild Trust in the workplace

  • 4 Tips to Rebuild Trust in the workplace

“The glue that holds relationships together – including the relationship between the leader and the led – is trust, and trust is built on integrity.” Brain Tracy

Some of the most significant relationships in my life began at the office. However, even the friendships I forged in my personal life were all based on one thing; trust. Trust is that thing that makes you believe what the other says, and it is two way, when you trust the other person, you believe them. You get along with them regardless of the situation.

Merriam Webster defines trust as a firm belief in the character, strength or truth of someone or something.

To bring it closer to today’s topic, in the work place, trust validates your leadership. Have you ever experienced a situation where an employee takes another employee more seriously than the appointed leader? The reason may be they trust him/her more. I recently saw this happen at work. I know you may ask how does this happen?

In my opinion I think a leader can destroy the trust the employees have in him/her by doing any of the following things;

  • Over promising and not delivering.
  • Under communicating.
  • Not demonstrating trust first.
  • Worried more about processes than coaching and developing.
  • Spinning the truth.
  • Having personal conflicts with employees.

Any of the above could make your employees mistrust you, and that leadership is based on trust, if you lose it, you lose your credibility.

All is not lost if you are in such a predicament, because slowly but surely you can rebuild the trust and fulfilling relationships you once enjoyed. Here are four tips that can help you start the rebuilding journey:

1: Promise and Deliver

If you had a habit of over promising and under delivering, you can redeem yourself by making promises that you can keep. A common saying in the business world that I think works well in personal matters is, it is best to under promise and over deliver. Don’t mistake the under promise to mean no promises.

To rebuild your trust, you need to be deliberate in your words and actions. For instance, if you are planning to reward the best sales representatives, and someone is still not helping you get what was promised, constantly inform the sales reps, and when it is ready, reward them in public.

2: Trust Your Staff

As mentioned above, trust is two way. If you show your employees that you trust them to do the right thing, they will trust themselves and you. Lack of trust in your employees manifests itself through micro-management. Now the employee must also show their willingness to trust their leader as well.

When you delegate an assignment, give the employee room to make their own decisions on the best way to achieve the set goals. Showing them that you believe in them and their ability to take care of business will increase their confidence and rebuild the lost trust they once had in you.

3: Own your mistakes

At times things don’t go as planned, and you have the task of communicating hard messages to the staff. If either you made a mistake or misinformed each other for whatever reason, you need to come forth and admit that you were wrong. In my experience I have seen by owning my mistakes it shows humility and more importantly shows your staff that you too are human.

By owning your mistakes, you are showing them respect as adults and that you are remorseful. Your staff will see that you are sincere and can believe in you once more because you have told the truth. Show me a person who said they don’t make mistakes and I will show you a person who has not grown as a leader.

4: Resolve Issues with Employees

Due to group dynamics, you cannot avoid conflicts completely. The secret is how you handle them when they arise. If in the past, you got into a nasty conflict and tempers flew all over, you can be the bigger person and call a meeting.

In the meeting, apologize to the employee and make peace. At the end of the day, your working relationship will improve because there will be no more tension. The employee will also see where they went wrong. Even if you do not get along 100%, you will start rebuilding the lost respect and trust.

In summary

Trust is the currency of leadership; you cannot get anything or anywhere without it. Practice these four strategies- promise and deliver, trust your staff, own your mistakes and resolve conflicts with employees- to win back the trust of your employees. It might take you time to mend fences but you will enjoy the results.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic and how you dealt with it.

This blog was written by Jim Iyoob, EVP Customer Experience for Etech Global Services. If you would like to learn more about Etech, please contact us at info@etechgs.com.

By |2015-11-24T00:00:43-06:00November 24, 2015|


Jim Iyoob is the Chief Customer Officer for Etech Global Services. He has responsibility for Etech’s strategy, marketing, business development, IT, program implementation, operational excellence, and product development across all Etech’s existing lines of business – Etech, Etech Insights, ETS & Etech Social Media Solutions. He is passionate, driven, and an energetic business leader with a strong desire to remain ahead of the curve in outsourcing solutions and service delivery.

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