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Whether it’s in a personal or professional capacity, for any kind of relationship to work to its full potential, trust is crucial. It shouldn’t come as a surprise then that building a culture of trust in the workplace is necessary for an empowered, proactive workforce.
Demonstrating to your employees that you have confidence in them will start to build them up as high performers who go above and beyond expectations. Giving staff the autonomy to control elements of their own working lives, such as their own hours and annual leave, proves to them that they are trusted with the additional responsibility and inspires hard work. What’s more, knowing that their senior leaders have faith in their abilities also speeds up the decision-making process – conclusions can be reached without needing to seek approval from above.
Another key element of maintaining a culture of trust in the workplace is keeping an open line of communication between senior management and employees. There can be reluctance for managers to share information with the wider team for fear of triggering office gossip or leaking news prematurely, but a level of transparency shows that you trust your employees with the truth. Similarly, promoting open exchanges of ideas and constructive criticism demonstrates that employees’ opinions are valued – and, as we know, an employee that feels valued is happier and therefore more productive.
Despite being one of the biggest brands in the world with an extensive workforce across the globe, Google is a perfect example of trust in action. As former senior vice president of people operations Laszlo Bock said in his book ‘Work Rules’, “Google operates on the belief that people are fundamentally good.” Basically, they trust their employees to do the right thing. And, with a market value of $101.8 billion, the results of employee empowerment and productivity speak for themselves.