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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

7 Ways to Develop a Culture of Respect and Trust

People and organizations usually include respect and trust in their list of important values. They go hand in hand.

Respect and trust between leaders and direct reports is essential to the overall success of any organization. When employees feel a sense of trust and are confident that their supervisor has their best interests in mind, they are more comfortable engaging in open communication and are more likely to solicit feedback concerning their performance. This ultimately results in enhanced job performance and increased employee engagement.

Here are 7 ways to develop a culture of respect and trust in your workplace:

1. Listen to each other.

Communication is at the core of human relationships, and it should be no different with your colleagues. Open a dialogue by listening and making people feel comfortable sharing. This is an ongoing process that should go beyond a single engagement survey each year. Collect regular, ongoing employee feedback -- and all forms of feedback at that.

2. Show employees that you care.

In the same way you nod to someone to show them you are listening, make sure employees know you are listening by communicating the findings of any feedback they have provided. Employees want to know that their voices aren’t falling into a black hole. If you can’t make the recommended changes, simply explain why. It’s scary, but transparency like this goes a long way to create a culture of respect and trust.

3. Help each other.

People who respect each other help each other. They support each other as employees and as people. Not only does this mean that employees will have richer, more positive relationships at work but also when there is a culture of support, employees won’t be afraid to ask for help. This ultimately makes everyone more comfortable and effective in his or her job.

4. Encourage everyone to be themselves.

Work is a huge part of who we are. It reflects our choices, our passion and our ambitions. Therefore, it seems contradictory that many are worried about being themselves when they’re actually at work. While it’s important to stay professional, employees that feel comfortable being themselves are likely to be happier and as a result, more productive. When employees are being themselves, levels of creativity are likely to rise. This is because those who feel they are able to express themselves are more inclined to share their ideas and opinions.

5. Follow Through

It’s all well and good to facilitate group meetings and to prove yourself a sympathetic ear on the office floor, but if your subsequent actions don’t actually resolve the problems in these situations, your promises will be empty.

One leading reason employees leave their workplaces has to do with the lip-service they receive from their superiors.

In other words, managers who make promises and say all the right things but fail to follow through. That kills a culture of trust.

6. Give Rewards Where They Are Due

Since “all talk and no action” is a negative for managers, spoken or tangible workplace rewards are great incentives for people to work harder and better.

Although rewards should highlight the efforts of people who perform exceptionally, managers should also choose who to reward based on their professional merit, not according to how much you connect with them on a personal level.

Nevertheless, remember that people easily notice when managers show bias. Make sure the playing field is level, and ensure that when you extend rewards, you have professional reasons for doing so.

7. Show You Value Them as Thinkers

Perhaps the most significant management faux pas is a lack of humility.

You can avoid this by recognizing and appreciating your team’s ideas daily.

If your business doesn’t take risks or encourage new thinking, the business will suffer. You can make your company an innovation hub by actively encouraging employees to share their great ideas in supportive team settings that don’t silence anyone.

Trust, much like organizational culture, is not built overnight. You need to earn it. Building an organizational culture is deeply rooted in trust, and collaboration starts with strong leadership that is willing to follow through, lead by example and walk the talk to create lasting and impactful organizational change. Leaders that personally role model trust virtues (e.g. honesty, reliability, discretion and focus on others ahead of themselves) and lead from trust values (e.g. relationship rather than transaction focus, collaboration, and transparency) create a strong work environment.

Establishing and maintaining a workplace culture of respect, inclusion, and positivity is essential to the productivity, growth, and continued success of your company. By implementing these tips, you’ll be well on your way to building a respectful workplace where everyone feels they are an integral part of the company and are committed to the organization, its values, and goals.

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