Fostering Trust in the Workplace

In the age of remote working, workplace relationships need more maintenance than usual. 

Sitting at a computer in your home office, it’s easy to feel disconnected from your colleagues, employees, and managers. In that isolated environment, trust can quickly become an issue

From the manager who wonders if their work-from-home employees are actually working at home, to the staff member who suspects a co-worker is shirking their duties and leaving them to carry the load, it doesn’t take much for a remote workplace to turn toxic. 

Why trust matters

Research shows that trust is integral to workplace performance, positively affecting productivity, profitability, and product quality. 

It also increases the chance that an employee will remain loyal, staying with a company throughout their career rather than searching for new opportunities. Holding onto talent is a key consideration for businesses, especially during the current labor shortage when employers are at a major disadvantage.

Trust is also vital to employee wellness, reducing the risk of stress and burnout while encouraging innovation, decision-making, and creative thinking.

How to establish trust while remote or hybrid working

Practice honesty

Managers often feel pressured to appear professional at all times but there are occasions when it’s okay to let the mask slip. You can’t build trust without honesty, that’s why it’s so important to keep your team in the loop about challenges you may be facing. 

Being honest about workplace issues sends a clear signal to your employees that you trust them to take your concerns seriously and want to work with them to find a solution. 

Effective leaders don’t hide uncomfortable truths, they bring them out into the open and trust that their team has the talent, empathy, and expertise to deal with them. In return, they win their employees' trust.

Show empathy

Sometimes the simplest steps have the biggest impact. Studies show that merely acknowledging a co-worker’s feelings helps to foster trust. This can be as easy as recognizing when they’re having a bad day and asking if you can help. 

Showing empathy in this way tells employees that you care enough to make an effort, and that’s a great starting point for trust. And it’s even more effective with negative emotions than positive. When we draw attention to someone’s distress, it invites conversation and leads to stronger, more authentic connections.

Be proactive

Of course, when offering to support a colleague, that offer has to be genuine. If managers are insincere in acknowledging a team member’s emotions - trying to score brownie points or further their own career ambitions - it will have the opposite effect, creating suspicion instead of trust.

Engage with employees, and be prepared to back it up with practical support such as making time for them in your schedule or clearing some of their workload. 

Offer employee perks

Treat your employees well and you give them a reason to trust you. Treat them like cogs in a machine and you’ll quickly end up with an alienated, unmotivated, and discontented workforce.

Studies show that managers who implement punitive policies, such as restricting paid overtime, erode trust and deepen workplace divisions.

Adopting a more people-centric approach isn’t just good for your staff, it benefits the whole organization by helping to retain talent, boosting morale, and reducing the need for heavy-handed managerial oversight. A happy team is a trustworthy team.

Trustworthy Employee Productivity Monitoring with Prodoscore

Employee Productivity Monitoring (EPM) measures and ultimately improves workforce productivity, well-being and experience. EPM is on the rise in the pandemic era as offices worldwide shift towards more flexible working arrangements, encompassing remote or hybrid models. EPM is identified as an emerging technology in in Gartner®’s Hype Cycle™ for the Digital Workplace, 2021, and the Hype Cycle™ for Human Capital Management Technology, 2021. 

Correctly managed in a secure and trustworthy environment, EPM can provide actionable insights that increase effectiveness, streamline workflows, and improve employee wellbeing. The goal of Prodoscore’s market-leading EPM platform isn’t to invade employees’ privacy, rather it builds trust by keeping staff accountable and giving them valuable feedback on their work. Prodoscore has helped hundreds of clients build better relationships and boost efficiency within their teams. Contact us today to book a demonstration.

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