5 Tips to Help You Establish Trust in the Workplace

November 4th, 2011

How well does your team work together? Effective teamwork is essential to the success of any organization, and at the cornerstone of a healthy team relationship is the core foundation of trust.

Do your employees trust you?

A successful team starts at the top, and establishing trust with your employees is critical. Here are five tips to help you gain the trust of your team:

  1. Tell the truth. Seems pretty cut and dry, doesn’t it? Be honest with your team, as honest as possible (sometimes you may not even know all the necessary details, but share what you can). Honesty inherently implies trust, and even if the news isn’t the most positive, your employees will trust you for sharing it.
  2. Be consistent. Few things are more frustrating to employees than inconsistencies. Whether in customer service policies, pricing or internal procedures, refrain from flip-flopping, backtracking or changing things frequently. As we all know, change is necessary, but if your organization is constantly changing things without properly explaining the benefit of the changes to the employees, it could breed a culture of mistrust.
  3. Listen. When your desk is stacked high with papers and your to-do list is off the charts, this can seem like a difficult task to master. But listening to your employees is critical. When your employees have feedback, frustrations or questions, give them your full attention. Whether they just need an ear or they require some follow up on your part, follow through on any promises or commitments you make.
  4. Work through mistakes. Be diplomatic and fair when mistakes are made–and they will be made. See mistakes as ways to encourage growth, refrain from “calling out” employees in front of the team and work with employees to see their own mistakes as opportunities–not embarrassments. You’ll have a more positive overall culture in your workplace, and your employees will place more trust in you.
  5. Set team goals. It’s important to have individual goals, but employees will feel like part of a more cohesive unit when they are also working toward a team goal. Effectively leading your employees to a team goal–then achieving it–can solidify the trust you have earned along the way.

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Don’t Become a Stepping Stone Employer

September 16th, 2011

In a difficult job market, hiring managers are likely to see a higher rate of resumes from overqualified applicants. Many of these candidates are just looking for a job that can hold them over and help them pay the bills until they find something more appealing. It’s always nice to see a highly qualified person across the interview desk, but it takes money and time to hire and train someone, and you don’t want to invest in a candidate who plans to leave as soon as she finds a higher paying position that’s better suited to her background. Here are a few considerations that can help you avoid becoming a stepping stone:

First, you can make things easier on yourself—and on your ambitious or overqualified applicants—if you understand each other from the beginning. Make sure you ask the right interview questions and find out all you can about a candidate’s long term plans. The more you know, the more likely you’ll avoid hiring someone who shows every sign of leaving soon. Ask her where she plans to be in three, five, and ten years. If your company offers a ladder to these destinations, tell her so. Be clear. Don’t try to spin or sell a path to advancement that you don’t have or won’t actually be able to offer later on.

Second, if you decide to hire her, be prepared to offer the salary and environment that will hold her interest and keep her talent within the company. The best way to get respect is to give respect. Invest in your employees and they will be more likely to invest in you.

And finally, if you realize after the fact that you’ve hired a stepping stone candidate, see if you can offer her the training and education that will help her ascend within the company. If you don’t have an immediate opportunity within her department, see if she might be willing to make a lateral move to broaden her skills. You can also alert her and help her prepare for positions that may open up a few months or a year in the future.

Let the Palmer Group help you become an employer that keeps their talent, contact us today.