Every manager wants to have a team that is happy and productive, but many don’t realize how to achieve it. If they don’t trust their manager, staff will struggle to be happy or give their all.

If you manage a team and you want to see an improvement in productivity and output, one of the best things you can do is to take steps to build trust between you and your team.

Here are eight ways to do it:

1. Take Responsibility for Your Mistakes

One of the major errors managers make is that they want to show their team that there is a reason they are in a position of leadership.

But the problem with presenting yourself as a powerful authority figure is that it can be impossible to admit you have made a mistake.

There is nothing to be gained by holding steadfast to the statement that you have done nothing wrong if your whole team can see they have made an error.

You will build far more trust with your team when you acknowledge your own mistakes, and make amends for them.

2. Invest in Your Staff

You can show your team that you trust and believe in them by investing in them. When managers are willing to use part of their budget to improve the working practice of the team, or develop skills for members of staff, they understand that their manager values them and their input.

This can enjoy a dual purpose. You display your willingness to put money into your staff and can improve the day-to-day running of the business.

3. Ask for Feedback from Your Team

The best way to build trust is to show your own vulnerabilities. Employees are aware that their manager knows their weaknesses and vulnerabilities, so you need to be willing to share your own with them as well.

One great way to do this is to ask for feedback from your team.  Doing so shows them that you are not above criticism, and are still willing to learn from them.

4. Give Employees Responsibility

Trust can be reciprocal. If you want trust from your employees, you need to put your trust in them. Show them that you understand the value they bring to the business by giving them more responsibility.

5. Lead by Example

One of the fastest ways to lose the trust of your staff is to set a bad example. If you expect them to be showing up ten minutes before their shift start, you better be doing the same thing.

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Managers that take a ‘do as I say, not as I do’ attitude will create a boundary between them and their staff. You need to lead by example, so that there is no excuse for your team not to work hard.

Ordering them around without following your own rules will just see them lose trust in you.

6. Keep Your Word

Broken promises are a guaranteed way to lose the respect and the trust of your team. Too many managers who are eager to please their staff will make all sorts of assertions in good faith. But they later realize they can’t actually fulfill those promises.

This puts them in an awful situation when they seem both incompetent and dishonest. It’s a much better idea to be realistic at all times.

Staff will have much more confidence if you deliver on your promises.

7. Always be Consistent

Consistency is vital in managers looking to build trust. If staff see one member of the team being treated differently from another, it can completely erode any trust between you.

Follow rules and guidelines properly, and treat each member of staff the same way.

8. Say ‘Thank You’

Your team really need to know and understand that you appreciate the job they do. You might think this is something that goes without saying – but it is something that needs to be said.

Regularly thank your team. Additionally, it’s a good idea to go by the mantra of ‘praise in public, criticize in private’.

Let everyone know out loud when they are doing well but talk to them one on one when they’ve made a mistake or otherwise broken any guidelines.

This is by far the best way to build a strong relationship within the team.

How Do You Build Trust?

If you have ideas that you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

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Mike James
Mike James is an experienced, independent content writer in the marketing industry – working together on a project with staff management software specialist Planday.

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