The following is an excerpt from Kimberly Gardiner’s article for PR Daily on the role trustworthy leadership plays in building workplace cultures. Click here to read the full article. For more insights from APCO’s research study on the future of the workplace, click here.
How do leaders build trust? Although it can vary by company and situation, the overarching theme is open, continuous and reciprocal communication. Some ways to start:
1. Set clear expectations, and build in accountability. When employees know what is expected of them, and what they can expect from others, they are more likely to have confidence in the outcomes. Leaders should hold themselves and others accountable, admit mistakes, and share plans for change.
2. Communicate early and often. Providing transparent and consistent communications can help alleviate rumors which can undermine trust between leaders and employees.
3. Follow-through on commitments. Though it sounds simple, keeping promises and showing intermittent progress toward goals is one of the most important ways leaders can build trust.
4. Establish and communicate core values—and stick to them. Knowing that leaders stand for something can help inspire trust and affinity among employees.
5. Give credit where credit is due. Receiving recognition for contributions and efforts can help employees feel that leaders “have their back” and are invested in them.
Trust is one of the most valuable resources in the workplace, but it takes time to earn and can be easy to lose. Leaders who want to earn the trust of those they lead must be willing to identify and understand the barriers to trust within their organization and take steps to ensure they are creating a future that benefits employees and the bottom line.