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Communication, Credibility, and Trust When it Comes to Your Staff

Business leaders who win are those who communicate openly and regularly, have a clear and committed communications policy, initiate various programs to support communication and collaboration, and assess their own performance. Communication, credibility, and trust are all important to building a reliable team.

Leaders often talk about building trust. Trust is something that must be earned. It is not something that today’s business leaders can take for granted, because both internal staff and external customers and clients are increasingly less trusting. Establishing open communication, credibility, and trust when it comes to your staff is critical to the ultimate success of a business.

Trust is at the Foundation of Successful Businesses

With allegations of large corporations taking part in fraud out of greed, trust has been eroded in every direction and new rules have been set with regard to how businesses are expected to operate. This applies to communication, credibility, and trust when it comes to your staff as the internal workings of a business is where it all starts and where everything builds from.

Employees, investors, customers, government entities, and regulators are increasingly demanding greater corporate accountability and transparency. These types of measures are aimed at curbing excesses of businesses and protecting the public.

Despite these new developments and higher standards, business leaders of well-respected, high-performing businesses have long acknowledged the value of building and sustaining trust. Again, establishing solid communication, credibility, and trust when it comes to your staff is at the heart of all of it.

Great Communication Fosters Trust

Building trust in a business’ leadership requires a personal effort on the part of the business leaders themselves. It is a team effort as well, but it starts at the very top. The corporate function that is most likely to support business leaders’ efforts to build and sustain trust in the long-term is communication.

Communication contributes to the creation of a business environment of trust around the leaders themselves and enables them to lead more effectively, engage their employees, and ultimately deliver the best possible results. Communication serves as the primary positioning agent for overall message delivery and leadership development for managers. The most successful business leaders have learned this fact from the first-hand experience.

Communication Credibility and Trust
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Excellent Communication Leads the Way to Credibility

Communication cannot alone make a person trust someone who is not trustworthy, but it can help to create a culture in which trust can thrive. Building communication, credibility, and trust when it comes to your staff is absolutely essential.

Breaking it down to the basics, leaders are people who are followed and people will not follow a leader they do not trust. Trust makes it easier to get into alignment and stay there. Trust is an extremely powerful force that builds loyalty, increases overall credibility, and supports effective communication within an organization. Trust gives you the right to benefit of the doubt in a situation where you would like to be heard, understood, and believed.

As any business leader or employee knows, trust can be severely tested when there are periods of high uncertainty and change during mergers, acquisitions, and other periods of transition. Despite a business leader’s best intentions, during these times it is often nearly impossible to communicate as much information as one would like. If one has a well-established system of communication, credibility, and trust when it comes to your staff, this reservoir of trust that has been built will carry you through these times.

At the very epicenter of building trust, is communication. Today, with public confidence in many organizations failing, solid leadership, communication, trust, business performance, and reputation are all inextricably linked. A workforce that trusts its leaders and really understands what is happening within the organization will be more satisfied, more productive, and also better able to communicate and contribute ideas for improvements.

Leaders of successful organizations know that in order to create a culture of trust, one must share information quickly and freely, and build relationships with employees and other stakeholders, allowing for their businesses to thrive.

It is not just about providing information. Building trust also involves managing communications and consistently encouraging discussion around what needs to be done. Always providing opportunities for feedback is a great example of how this is done.

Communicating sincerely, honestly, and regularly may be challenging for some business leaders and managers, but the return on good communication is high. For leaders of large corporations, human resources and communications channels within an organization, a regular self-assessment of whether or not you are acting as a communications champion within your business model helps to cast light on what you are doing well and also helps to focus on areas that may need some improvement.

Measuring progress, getting feedback, and giving feedback are all supportive of the goal to strengthen communication, credibility, and trust when it comes to your staff and every effort will be well worth it.

Accountability: Why Your Business Needs It

To effectively carry out a complex project or implement a strategic business plan, a culture of accountability must be developed throughout an organization. In order to achieve success, everyone within the organization needs to understand the organization’s strategy, their individual roles within the organization, and all specific tasks they are responsible for. Accountability is not limited to staff members within an organization. Managers and business leaders must also follow through on their promises and maintain a commitment to their organizational goals and to their individual performance.

How To Build Accountability in Business

When accountability is absent, the effects can snowball through an entire organization. Particularly when there is a large team with multiple people working in various roles on a project, this can pose issues. The result will be delays in project completion (if the project is completed at all) and negativity eroding attitudes of team members. A lack of trust could develop and both the performance and overall culture of an organization can suffer greatly.

If you want a high-performing team that is committed to taking ownership of their tasks and projects, read on. Here are some tips regarding accountability and why your business needs it.

1. Accountability means creating and nurturing an environment of trust and openness

When team members are behind or make mistakes, it is important that they feel comfortable enough to approach others on the team or a leader of the team for advice or help, with enough time to address and correct the issue. Asking for help can be very difficult, but it can also help to build trust, understanding, and autonomy, which leads to the development of strong teams that are very productive. This is just one tip, which highlights the importance of accountability and why your business needs it.

2. Understanding staff and what individually motivates them

Everyone has different motivations. Despite this, there are specific business culture traits that will lead to increased workplace satisfaction. When team members are given the opportunity to learn, grow, and develop in their roles, along with being made to feel that their contribution is essential, this is a plus for everyone. To help sustain a business culture that supports these values in conjunction with accountability and performance, business owners can avoid micromanagement, stay open to communicating, encourage collaboration, support employee education, and growth, and continue their own educations through conferences and workshops.

Accountability Why Your Business Needs It
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3. Set clear goals that are actionable and provide metrics for success

When a team leaves a meeting or a conversation, it is important that they leave with a clear understanding of what their specific tasks and responsibilities are. This involves going over timelines and deadlines. By defining these aspects clearly, a team can leave a meeting with an understanding of what the next steps to take are, how much time they should spend on these tasks, and what the resulting product should be. Again, this is another critical step in establishing accountability.

4. Track and periodically review your progress, notice successes, and failures

In order for a team member to know when a project is completed and the level of quality that is expected of them, there has to be some form of tracking in place. This tracking method must have clearly defined definitions of success worked into it. Whether the progress is monitored on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis, it is important to do this to figure out if the project is on track and within scope.

Even leaders need to remember that they need help in staying accountable. A leader may become too focused on day-to-day tasks and lose sight of the big picture or, in contrast, they may develop such a wide scope that they have a hard time understanding the more intricate aspects of the organization. On the short-term, this may not necessarily cause a problem, but if this continues, this could lead to great difficulty in maintaining accountability to the organizational strategy.

Working with a partner that helps with strategy from outside of the organization could assist in this area. A partner could help leaders to maintain an understanding of where the business is going, as well as to maintain momentum. This outside partner could also help in keeping the team motivated and aligned with the company vision and strategies.

When leaders are committed to their accountability, it can make a huge impact on their organization, which leads to alignment and the overall success of the organization.

Giving Proper Credit to Employees and Building Trust

If customers are the backbone of any successful company, then employees are the foundation. When an employee doesn’t trust the company that they work for, then your company will not succeed. This is why building trust with your team is an important aspect of running your business. Employees do not want to give 100% to a company they do not trust. Your employees may just be giving the bare minimum not to get fired. When an employee likes the company that they work for, you will find that they are acting with more passion and enthusiasm for the job.

Building Trust within your Team

So how do you establish trust with your employees? There are plenty of steps to take to earn the trust of your employees.

1. Establish initial trust with employees
Since managers are in direct communication with their employees, the first step is to be sure that the managers are doing everything they can to establish trust with their employees. Managers can do this by just being honest with their employees. They must be effective communicators who offer help and support. Managers should not only be helpful, but they need to have a friendly and professional relationship with their team. Consider taking your team to lunch once a week to establish a better connection.

2. Engage your employees
The easiest way to get to know your team is to ask them questions. That’s all it takes. Once you open up communication, you can begin building trust in your relationships. If you’re not sure how to establish communication with members of your team, ask them what you can do to be better. Take this feedback and then acknowledge and act upon it.

3. Listen to your team
Now that you are getting good at asking your employees about what they feel and want, you must listen to what your employees are answering. In this regard, you must take a more in-depth look, because more often than not, your employees will sugar-coat things with surface-level conversations. It is your job as the manager to dive deeper into these conversations and find out what it is your employees are too shy to ask for.

Building Trust with your Team
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4. Respect your employees
Don’t try to scare your employees with surprise reviews. If you have something serious to discuss with an employee, let them know that it is coming so they have time to prepare. Schedule your time with employees so that way you’re not bursting in on an important project they’re working on with bad news. It is better for the overall health of your business to be completely transparent with your employees.

5. Let your team know that you trust them
An easy way to show your team that you are building trust in them is to give them a project and let them run with it. If you don’t believe they could do a difficult task without your help, start with an easy task. Try not to micromanage their lives and you’ll find that once you start showing trust to your team, they will begin to demonstrate confidence in return.

6. Treat them like humans
When you’re a manager, you may come off as intimidating to your employees without even realizing it. Although you want to maintain a reasonable amount of respect, don’t forget to show that you’re a human too. Little things like making eye contact, greeting your employees every day and listening to them can make a big difference.

7. Build up your team
Show that you have confidence in your employees by taking an interest in your employees’ personal lives. Of course, this must be done on a respectful and professional level, but it’s important to know when your employees may be struggling so you can provide support during these times. For example, if you recognize that one of your employees is going through a divorce or is having another issue at home, you might notice that it is affecting their work performance. When you can provide sympathy and take an interest in their personal lives during these downtimes your employees will feel supported and ready to give their all again. On the other side, when things are going well, don’t forget to celebrate!