Before Pauline agreed to become a manager, she sought advice from a senior manager in the company. This senior manager said, "You are awfully trusting and that can get you into trouble. I never trusted my staff. If you blindy trust people, you will fail!" Many managers who embrace the traditional command and control model believe that it is foolish to trust employees.
As a manager, building trust in your team is important. Refusing to trust anyone will not help you manage more effectively. and you will isolate yourself. Effective work teams develop when trust flows both ways.
Here are some practical advice on how to be a trusted manager.
Deliver bad news in person Have you ever received bad news via an email sent from the boss or from someone else in another department? Employees lose trust in their manager if they hear news concerning themselves and their department from other sources. As the head of the team, your employees look to you for direction and guidance especially in tough times. While there is no easy way out to deliver the bad news, helping employees see the silver lining may help them believe in your ability to lead in challenging times.
Praise when praise is due Be generous with your words of encouragement and praise when employees deserve it. When you build your team members up, they feel valued for their contributions and trust in their managers to develop their growth in the company.
Admit your mistakes Employees do not expect managers to be perfect. When things go wrong, have the courage to take ownership of the problem. By doing that, you are setting a good example for your employees by leading the way to be honest. Admitting your mistakes does not mean that you are weak. Rather, it strengthens your leadership as employees respect leaders who accept responsibility for results and outcomes.
Be seen and be heard In a world of instant messaging, emails and teleconferencing, it may be too easy to remain in the office and not having to interact with your employees face to face. However, making your presence felt has never been more important. Take time to walk around the office and strike up small conversation with your employees. A simple “Hello, how’s your day going?” keeps you in touch with your staff and makes you more approachable. By building rapport with your staff, you are creating the foundation for trust.
Be fair Do you remember your teacher favouriting certain students in class and letting them go for recess earlier or giving them treats? How did the rest of the students feel? Chances are, as an adult, favouritism in the workplace are no better experiences. A manager who is fair does not have any favourites. The same rules apply to every employee and no one gets better treatment than the rest. When the manager builds better relationships with their employees via being fair, it instils trust in the people.