Many leaders feel it’s easier to trust people we see more frequently. As such, the remote/hybrid work model is certain to escalate the trust problem between managers and their staff unless managers proactively work to increase trust. Equip your managers with these reminders on how to develop a basic understanding of trust, illustrate trust, learn how to coach others, and identify barriers to accountability on their team.
Agree on expectations
The first step to building a foundation of trust is to agree on the most important things each party needs from the other to be successful and enjoy their work. Managers and employees should know for certain what they must do to build trust with one another—and what will break it.
Meet regularly (in person or virtually)
Regularly scheduled one-on-one meetings are an essential leadership tool that builds trust and enables managers to help their team members stay accountable. Dedicate this time to review assignments to ensure follow through and that employees have what they need to be successful. Also use this time to ask how the employee is doing.
Request feedback and accept it with gratitude
One of the quickest ways to increase mutual respect and trust with another person is to ask them for advice on how you can improve. Asking for feedback sends the message, “I respect your opinion.” It is important to not punish them for it or it will seem like a betrayal of their trust.
Nothing kills trust quicker than blame. Blame shuts down the part of the employee’s brain that controls problem solving. When things go wrong, poor leaders ask, “Who’s did this?” Good leaders build trust by resisting the urge to blame and instead ask, “How can we learn from this?” Employees trust leaders who don’t rush to judgement and try and review situations in a fair manner.
Quite possibly the most powerful way to earn the trust and respect of others is to admit mistakes. Taking accountability for problems creates an atmosphere of trust that makes it safe for everyone to follow suit by admitting how they contributed to problems and focus on solutions.
ASE members can evaluate their approach and capabilities to support remote or hybrid workplaces through the Hybrid Workplace Resource Center found on their member dashboard on the McLean & Company site.