Trust in the Workplace: Why It Is so Important Today and How to Build It

CoachHub · 23 November 2021 · 7 min read

Develop the performance of your employees, thanks to management through trust!

If there was only one management lesson to learn, it would be ‘confidence’. However, few leaders and line managers sincerely believe in its power and those who apply trust in management.

People who deploy management by trust generally do so only to give themselves a clear conscience with a beautiful managerial façade. Indeed, this fundamental value is rarely indicated in the charter of values ​​and is in no way followed by concrete facts. However, trust has immense power: that of organizational transformation and the motivation of your team, but also of creating commitment, motivation, well-being and innovation. In short, all the ingredients to ensure the sustainability of your organization starts from the bedrock of trust.

The energy of employee trust for managerial renewal

Society and the labor market evolve at the same time. Therefore, you have two choices: continue doing what you are already doing or adopt a new strategy. In the first case, you continue with the same organizational framework and the same managerial practices that have been in effect for years. A way of operating that has perhaps reached its limits resulting in stress, absenteeism, burn-out, turnover. In the second case, you change the paradigm, model and managerial framework to meet new market expectations and hopefully massive productivity gains.

The impact of a lack of trust between management and employees

A team is a collective sharing common objectives. This collective unity is synonymous with performance: represented by the famous formula – 1 + 1 = 3.

Without confidence and self-belief, this unity is undermined, because it has to face unproductive behaviors of withdrawal into oneself and individualization. Personal goals take precedence over collective interest.

In this situation, as a manager, you cannot assert your leadership. As a result, you are helpless in the face of the challenges that your team must meet. Your responsibility is then compromised.

In such a climate and through mistrust, everyone tends to favor withholding information by keeping vital elements to themselves. Collaboration between members deteriorates. They generally prefer individualistic behaviors. The competition takes precedence over cooperation, and demotivation takes hold.

Acting now means making a difference in a few years, but what exactly do you need to do? By revolutionizing your entrepreneurial approach for an innovative and dynamic relaunch where confidence reigns. So, take action, for the sustainability of your business and for the jobs of tomorrow!

What is management by trust?

Knowing how to be confident and to give your trust is an invaluable power. However, like respect, trust cannot be decreed, it is earned week after week, day after day, minute after minute. Our actions, our way of doing things, our reactions, our attitudes, our behavior enhance or weaken it. Thus, it is not the words that make the difference, but actions. Management by trust, therefore, amounts to inspiring confidence and, above all, to having faith in your employees. Always assume that the person you are talking to is competent and that they want to do their job well. Trust in management is based on the idea of simply being kind to your people and leading by example. Transparency is also essential to engender high levels of trust.

From self-confidence and trust in others, spaces emerge where positive confrontation is possible. We also allow commitment, co-responsibility, innovation or even “responsible” performance. But decreeing to do management by trust is not enough to do management by trust. A structure, processes and management tools must be developed and act as support. Because alongside trust, elements of self-governance and autonomy must, for example, be established.

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The advantages of management by trust

Better conflict management

Pre-emptive change management is better than reactive conflict management. A true foundation for well-being in the workplace, trust significantly reduces conflict between staff members. Through the confidence they inspire, most managers who are successful create a feeling of security to promote two-way exchanges of information. This, therefore, provides the necessary confidence to employees to express the problems they encounter and so offer the manager the chance to predict underlying conflicts and defuse them promptly rather than relying on crisis management. This work of confidence in oneself and in others also opens the door to positive confrontations, far from conflicts that inevitably arise when there are high levels of mistrust in the workplace.

Better crisis management

A period of crisis can give rise to fears and concerns. With a management strategy based on trust, employees adhere to the strategy more easily. This reassures them, motivates them and engages them in the long term. But by also trusting your teams in a crisis situation, you avoid all the tensions that can arise due to over-control. And in this kind of context, tensions appear easily: a careless word, a gesture, a negative attitude can ignite the powder, distracting employees from the common goal.

Employee well-being and performance

A work environment where confidence reigns supreme promotes personal and professional development. And for good reason, an employee who feels considered with real responsibility is a motivated employee who is fully involved in their work. Who says confidence at work, therefore says well-being and productivity.

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How can leaders create a climate of trust within a team?

The formatting in which we were educated does not predispose us to trust. Therefore, how to let go of the “famous permanent control” and power? How to put your ego aside? How to leave space for others and freedom of action? How to create autonomy? How to dare to change the managerial and organizational paradigm to move towards renewal and co-responsibility? How to manage a team on a daily basis following this style of management by trust?

Team building

Organizing team building sessions is the perfect way to build trust and enhance collective intelligence among team members. Among the most effective activities, we find the perfect square where the goal is to lay out a rope in the shape of a perfect square while blindfolded and in a group. The back-to-back design is also very popular. The collaborators are in pairs and seated back to back. While one receives a blank notepad to draw on, the other receives an image for the other to draw with only voice prompts. The blindfolded obstacle course, the treasure hunt, the escape game; there are many fun games available at very little expense and are great ways to strengthen trust between employees and team cohesion and better teamwork.

Responsibilities and autonomy at work

The goal of management through trust is to empower your employees and give them autonomy. Quite simply, because you trust them. To do this, the first step is to provide them with tools that simplify the daily lives of employees.

The second step is to offer training on personal development, such as interpersonal relationships, non-violent communication, emotion management or energy management. All these soft skills, generally specific to managers, will help develop employees’ autonomy.

Finally, it is important to promote the responsibilities of each employee through skills development, training or business coaching. Thus, they will be able to develop internally and occupy more important positions. Some companies going even further in management through trust even allow employees to participate in the management committee, a meaningful change in workplace culture that is highly recommended.

Lost trust in management? How to trust and inspire trust?

The people who must show confidence in the first place are the executives – or none other than the manager, the project manager or the director. By their behavior and exemplary nature, they must create a space of trust that allows the right to try and the right to occasionally make mistakes. However, they must also assert their leadership in order to give employees self-confidence. Thus, trust allows autonomy, authenticity and vulnerability. In this way, it inspires both confidence and helps strengthen the personal confidence of its teams.

Professional coaching and personal development

Coaching in personal development is, as we have seen previously, essential to allow employees to gain skills and, therefore, in responsibility and autonomy. At CoachHub, autonomy is found from the completion of the digital training course while being accompanied at each step of the process (videoconferencing, instant messaging, technical support, etc.). But this coaching also applies to management teams. Indeed, managerial coaching allows you to gain the managerial know-how and skills needed to apply management through trust.

Coaching vs training ?

Improving trust in your organization can seem like a daunting task if you haven’t got the right support in place and tools at your disposal. Executive coaching is the perfect solution to help resolve the issue or support your companies in addressing trust in the workplace. Contact CoachHub for more information about how a professional training course based on sound psychological research could lead to meaningful business transformation.

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