In a recent post by Keith Rosen, he asked a great question: Do your employees trust you? You should definitely check his article out (and the following ones). Keith does a great job discussing the importance of building trust with your teams in order to establish a long-term, positive coaching relationship.
As Keith discusses, it is not enough to simply listen to your team members. If you want to truly build trust, you have to find meaningful ways to engage your team so they can see that you are devoted to their improvement and futures. I’ve been fortunate enough to have been on both sides of this type of working environment. Here are a couple things that I have really liked:
- Listen and follow through: As you start to engage your team more and ask for their ideas and opinions, you have to be willing to take it one step further – follow through on their ideas. This doesn’t mean that you should do everything they think of, but when you run into a great idea or suggestion, do it, make sure they see you doing it and give them the credit.
- Look for strategic opportunities to help them win: As projects come your way and your business faces new challenges, look for ways to help your team get involved and experience personal wins. This might take the form of a small project or something much larger. With your leadership and guidance, you can help them win, develop more self worth as well as trust in you and themselves.
- Invest in their future: Most of us want to be better. We want to grow and have opportunities to succeed. There are a couple of approaches to investing in their future. First, you can provide them with the chance to learn more about your business and their positions. This can include conferences, networking opportunities, external training, or even something as simple as creating a small, shared library of business books they can use. Second, as you get to know your team more, you might discover that each of them has interests that you might be able to hone and cultivate. Perhaps you have a team member that enjoys party planning. Could you use this interest/talent to build her confidence and potentially add to your team’s overall skill set. You never know when that interest might become beneficial to your business.
Now it’s your turn. What have you done to help your team win? How do you build trust in your employees? If you are an employee, what do you do to build trust with your employer?