Five ways to build organisational trust

August 9th 2017 | Posted by phil scott

Five ways to build organisational trust

Organisations that operate within a trustworthy environment are typically more productive and successful. So how can you ensure that your workforce runs on trust? To build organisational trust, the right example needs to be set from the top and seamlessly integrated down throughout every area of a business. Here are five effective ways such trust can be established:

Create a caring culture

Employees understand they have a job to do and must conduct themselves professionally, but in order to earn their respect; and therefore trust, you need to create the right organisational culture. No one wants to go to a job every day where they feel they aren’t making a difference. Showing your workforce they are valued is an important step towards gaining trust.
Build employee confidence, recognise a job well done and when an individual is struggling with a certain aspect of their role, offer the necessary support. Mistakes at work should be an opportunity to identify areas in need of additional support, training and development, rather than a reason to criticise and punish. Similarly, a job well done should be celebrated so incentives and rewards can serve as effective motivational tools

Be approachable

When there is a hierarchy within an organisation, employees can feel that those at the top are unapproachable which breeds mistrust. An honest environment needs to be created in order to open channels of communication and foster trust. Leaders should be visible and available in order to be credible. Trust is earned through interaction, so it is vital that management listen.
Workplace leaders should be open to feedback from both employees and stakeholders and need to act on that feedback. Inviting a variety of employees to the decision-making table can be a valuable exercise in building organisational trust, allowing employees at all levels to have a say on issues that affect them.

Clearly communicate visions and values

Information sharing is key to building organisational trust and everyone within an organisation should take responsibility for this, not just those at the top. If employees are kept informed of developments and changes within the workplace they will feel more comfortable within their own role and trust the organisation that they work for.

Staff need to know that management care about their professional development. HR can play an active role developing effective processes that will build organisational trust; processes such as talent management programmes, succession planning and performance management.
Focus on shared organisational goals

It is vital employees can work together to achieve shared goals. In order to do so they must trust each other. Of course, individuals should be able to work effectively on their own to achieve individual targets, but rather than simply focussing on personal agendas, working together to achieve a shared focus is a fantastic way to build organisational trust. When employees feel supported by their colleagues they work together more efficiently making for a content and productive organisation.

Hold management to account

Actions should be consistent with words; there should be no grand gestures that don’t get actioned. Management should avoid empty promises, be seen to do what they say they plan to do and explain if circumstances prevent them from doing so. Senior staff should be willing to justify their decisions to employees. This establishes and maintains integrity which helps management to be perceived as trustworthy. An organisation builds trust if its people have integrity which means always keeping promises and being transparent about decisions even if that is difficult.

Build trust, build a successful future

Distrust within an organisation serves to slow business processes and output and has a negative impact on staff morale, retention and development. Every aspect of a business operates more efficiently when it is run on trust with every employee being treated respectfully. It makes sense to take the time to build organisational trust at all levels in order to ensure ongoing success.