Driving Employee Trust: Best Practices
Three best practices used by companies to develop employee trust include 1) creating a culture of healthy relationships, 2) having clear communication and feedback channels, and 3) developing the leadership skills of supervisors.
1. Culture and Relationship
- Employee trust needs to be worked at every level of the organization, company, direct managers/supervisors, and team members.
- Companies build employee trust by creating a culture that promotes healthy relationships, and in which people feel like part of a community, and where engagement is encouraged.
- Creating a culture of trust includes trusting employees first by allowing them to grow through tasks that promote their personal development, training managers to avoid micromanaging, leading them through performance review, KPIs, and building a sense of accountability.
- Some companies with great employee relationship cultures are Zappos, Warby Parker, Southwest Airlines, Twitter, Chevron, SquareSpace, Google, REI, Facebook, and Adobe. These companies focus on trusting their employees, making them independent, and creative activities to build a sense of community.
- To build trust, companies must build clear company-employee communication strategies. Companies must provide employees with clear channels of communication where they feel safe to speak and listened.
- Companies must also communicate key goals, processes, instructions, important changes, schedules, and performance, with transparency.
- Trust is built when people feel they are understood and valued. Having a safe environment where they can afraid of making them, and a feedback culture is essential.
- Companies need to listen to the employees' opinions and feedback and take action on it. This can be done through surveys, meetings, activities, and open-door policies.
- Yelp, WME, GitHub, Legaspi, are examples of leading companies with great open-door policies, including open calendars and employee empowerment.
3. Trust in Direct Managers/Supervisors
- Employee trust starts with trust in their direct leaders. Companies must educate managers and supervisors on leadership skills and keep them informed of the company's goals and changes, so they can make the right decisions and gain their teams' trust by providing them the correct information and being knowledgeable.
- Employees must feel that their leaders have integrity and ethic, that they will give them credit for their job, and who recognize when they don't know something but are resourceful to find the information.
- Lack of trust in the manager affects the company by increasing fear on the decisions and job security while having managers they can trust increases employee retention. It is important when selecting a candidate to hire people that are leaders and not only managers.
- Managers must be consistent, fair, honest, stay true to their word, own their mistakes, and care for their employees, so they develop trust in them.
- Building healthy relationships between managers and employees includes treating people as individuals and not as numbers.
- In-N-Out Burger is an example of a company that has been praised for having great supervisors who listen and understand their employees and care for their growth.
- Power Home Remodeling, Acuity Insurance, Ultimate Software, Workday, and Chili's are some companies with great programs to educate their managers and develop leadership skills.
To determine the "best practices," we identified lists of predefined best practices and tips from business magazines and reports to build employee trust. Then, we selected the "best" from the ones repeated most often across different sources.