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Trust in the workplace: why it matters

schedule 17th April 2018 by Elaine Hankinson in Virtual College

Group discussion

Trust in the workplace: why it matters

Trust is undoubtedly one of the most important elements of a successful workplace, but sometimes it helps to think about exactly why this is. Who benefits when there’s a strong culture of trust? And how do you build a great culture of trust? In this article, we’re going to look at some of the relationships that exist in the workplace, and how they can be improved for the betterment of individuals and the business as a whole when there’s a good degree of trust.

Trust in the business management and leadership

The first and most obvious benefit of having employees who feel trusted is that they feel valued, and valued employees are some of the most effective, reliable and loyal people. Think about going about your everyday tasks. Would you be unhappier at work if you felt that those senior to you didn’t trust in your abilities, or worse, that they didn’t think they could trust you with important assets or information? The answer is almost certainly yes. This might make you less enthusiastic about your duties, and in the worst case, it might even make you think about leaving. This is the reality of a business where there isn’t a culture of trust, and why it’s so important.

On the other hand, if you feel valued at work, you’re significantly more likely to stay in your role, which is a major business benefit. Additionally, employees who feel trusted are going to put more effort into their work, and they’re also more likely to communicate well with more senior members of the business. This can be very valuable indeed – it’s often information from less senior individuals that helps improve how things are working on the ground. It cannot be overstated how much trust can impact job satisfaction.

Trust between employees

Of course, trust between employees of a similar level is very important too. We’ve already discussed how trust makes people feel better about themselves, and about the job they’re doing, and this certainly translates to teams. Strong teams with great relationships are the most effective, but everyone has to feel they can trust their co-workers. If everyone is working towards a deadline for instance, then each contributor has to believe that everyone else is also going to pull their weight. Sometimes, employees who struggle to let go and allow other people to join them on a project need coaching to better trust their co-workers.

If things lapse, and employees don’t trust one another, productivity can suffer. This is also when personal issues can arise between individuals, and such problems can sometimes be very tricky to resolve. Once trust has been broken, it’s very difficult to rebuild it again, which is why you need to be proactive in having an organisation with a great culture. Building trust is a way of combating negative developments in the business, and also creating extra value.

So how can employers, managers and employees work to help build a culture of trust in their organisation? There are lots of methods, ranging from being open and transparent, to being accountable, and of course trusting people with decisions and to get on with their job. There’s lots to think about, and we have a dedicated article on the subject. Click here.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for more formal training in building openness and trust in the organisation, then here at Virtual College, we offer online management training, including our course ‘How to Develop a Culture of Openness and Trust’ - Click here to be taken to the course page to find out more about what it covers, and what it could bring to your business.

Elaine Hankinson Author

Author: Elaine Hankinson

Elaine is a Learning Technology Consultant who works with private sector organisations. She enjoys creating unique digital learning solutions for a variety of customers and has relationship managed a number of large bespoke content development projects. In her spare time she enjoys walking, cooking and a good book.

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