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Workplace Trust and Employee Productivity: How The Two Go Hand-In-Hand

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Business Advice

We all want to retain people and keep them at peak levels of performance. That’s because we understand that people are the driving forces behind our businesses. Without good people, we have nothing.

In order to retain good people, however, emphasis needs to be placed on improving the quality of work life we offer them. According to experts, a quality work life translates to an environment that is inspiring, engaging and built around the idea of trust. Studies have shown that there is a significant correlation between trust and performance. A workplace that has trust infused in all its relationships – trust between employees and their supervisors, trust between employees and higher management (YOU!), and trust between employees and other employees – is much more organized and productive than one that is not focused on building trust. Here’s why…

First off, when there’s trust between employees and supervisors, supervisors are more tuned into what’s going on behind the scenes. High-trust businesses encourage employees to be upfront and honest. Think of it this way: when a trusting relationship exists, employees will go to their supervisors and inform them when they make mistakes. Employees are more likely to say ‘I just made a mistake and here’s what I have to do to fix it,’ if they feel there’s not going to be punishment for admitting an error.

When there’s a trusting relationship built between employees and higher management/owner(s), employees will feel as if their feelings are taken into account when business decisions are being made. There are a number of different workplace practices – which differentiate from culture to culture – that contribute to deeper feelings of trust. One universal workplace practice that is important across the board is treating employees with respect. Bottom-line: if respect isn’t there, you don’t and can’t have a high level of trust.  

Another practice that works to establish trust is having an open book policy or incentive programs. With an open book policy in place, everyone knows how the company is doing and your workers feel like they play an active role in the company. There are also no surprises, people don’t fear the unknown – everyone knows what’s coming down the road – and there’s little room for miscommunication. Read LMN member Nathan Helder’s story about how he runs his business on the principles of open financial management.

Lastly, it’s just as important for your employees to trust each other. If you have a team that consists of a number of employees all at the same level, they’re not going to share any information with one another if they don’t trust one another. A team that doesn’t trust each other is a dysfunctional team. You need your employees working together – communicating with one another, sharing skills and knowledge – to build a strong, united company. Trust is the root of better performance.

Our concluding point: Put your people first – it pays to offer your people a great place to work. Not only are they more motivated, inspired, hardworking and productive people, but your imitative to focus on improving the work life of your people will result in a culture based on mutual trust and respect that retains employees that want to see your business succeed.

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