Developing Trust that the Old Fashion Way
As we already know, trust plays a key role in so many things in life.
Let's just think about that for a moment and name some of the simple things that we place our trust in without giving it a second thought.
Developing Trust - ls this airplane safe?
How about when we go to the local Super Market? We trust that the food products they are providing are not contaminated.
When we put gas into our vehicles we trust it is not watered down or dirty.
When we get onto an airplane we trust that it is safe to fly in.
When you go to the doctor and they issue a medication, we trust they know that it is safe for us.
Now what can change your trust quickly with any of these above?
How about, if you get sick from something you ate from the market. Your car stalls after you put gas into it. The Airlines you normally choose to fly on is involved in an accident. The medication you received from your doctor is involved in a law suit for causing premature deaths.
In many cases if the above happens we choose a different place or person the next time we need that service. Doesn't matter what their advertisements say.
The workplace is no different. If you fail them, the trust factor goes down a lot faster than it goes up.
So remember, everything you do or say in the workplace will be measured by someone in your work group. Good or bad. Even if you failed to acknowledge them as you speed by. They don't care that you are on your way to a meeting you are late for.
So besides just telling the truth, how do we build a trustworthy relationship with our staff?
Here are some simple, but effective ways to do it.
If you are able, I would do my best to try and see everyone in your work group everyday. That means that you will have to get up from behind your desk and tour through the department As you go through your department, acknowledge them. This does not mean, just a head nod, or a casual wave. It means say something to them, even if it is how was your weekend? Or maybe, something less engaging like, thanks for your hard work. But be specific, and do not do and say the exact same thing everyday.
Others things you can do are to have pot lucks, a generic monthly birthday cake for those having a birthday in that month, bring a desert day, fun days where you do some crazy activity like blind folding someone and they have to navigate a maze by following the direction of a team mate, and so on.
Acknowledge good work, whether it is performed by the entire team or individually. Don't over look this effective tool! Nothing worse than working hard day after day and no one acknowledges your work. I would do this verbally on a consistent basis, and more formally with letters and/or plaques on more significant accomplishments. The point is to let them know you are seeing what they do, and not just the negative things. You may give them time off, gift certificates, or even cash awards.
Now we can go on and on, but the point is that trust is not just built on the words that come out of your mouth, but your overall actions.
Ask yourself again, do you meet their needs? What are their needs?
Once you establish that trust, the work group will truly begin to move forward. Everything from changes in processes to asking for volunteers will be so much easier.
Trust and respect go together. Earning it takes time, dedication and hard work.