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How to Use Continuous Performance Management to Build Trust

People sitting at a the table making a connection with their hands.

Trust is the cor­ner­stone of all rela­tion­ships. But trust in the work­place can be hard to build and easy to destroy. In this blog, we dis­cuss how man­agers can use Con­tin­u­ous Per­for­mance Man­age­ment to fos­ter trust.

Trust is at the core of any great com­pa­ny. We expect mutu­al trust in our per­son­al rela­tion­ships and are sus­pi­cious of rela­tion­ships that fail to elic­it trust. The same rules apply to pro­fes­sion­al rela­tion­ships. As the basis of all rela­tion­ships and inter­ac­tions, trust should be a top pri­or­i­ty for your com­pa­ny.

Trust increas­es pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and morale, cre­ates a cul­ture of team­work and respect, and enables effec­tive prob­lem-solv­ing. Think of trust as the build­ing blocks of all the work you do. A sol­id foun­da­tion of trust means that your team will be able to weath­er any prob­lems and issues that arise. A weak base of trust means things quick­ly fall apart.

Despite its impor­tance in com­pa­ny life, trust is intan­gi­ble. Hard to mea­sure and dif­fi­cult to main­tain, trust takes time to build and devel­op, and one event to destroy. So, how do you ensure that you’re uphold­ing trust across your company?

In this post, we’ll show you how to har­ness the ben­e­fits of Con­tin­u­ous Per­for­mance Man­age­ment to cre­ate a cul­ture of trust. Build a sol­id foun­da­tion for your com­pa­ny and take these four steps to build trust:

1. Encour­age reg­u­lar communication

Make sure that there are oppor­tu­ni­ties for your team mem­bers to reg­u­lar­ly com­mu­ni­cate with their col­leagues and man­agers. It’s dif­fi­cult to have trust with­out com­mu­ni­ca­tion, as com­mu­ni­ca­tion helps your team to get to know each oth­er, which is an essen­tial ingre­di­ent of trust. And when it comes to com­mu­ni­ca­tion, fre­quen­cy and con­sis­ten­cy are key. Sched­ul­ing reg­u­lar for­mal and infor­mal check-ins gives your employ­ees the oppor­tu­ni­ty to voice issues and ideas in a way that fos­ters and nur­tures trust.

Con­tin­u­ous Per­for­mance Man­age­ment puts ongo­ing con­ver­sa­tion at the heart of man­age­ment prac­tices. Unlike dread­ed annu­al reviews, Con­tin­u­ous Per­for­mance Man­age­ment doesn’t cor­don off top­ics into one annu­al con­ver­sa­tion that leaves employ­ees feel­ing voiceless.

Clear Review has check-ins inte­grat­ed into our soft­ware so you and your employ­ees can stay con­nect­ed. Both par­ties have the option to cap­ture actions points and notes online through­out, mean­ing the con­ver­sa­tion is open and mutu­al­ly rep­re­sen­ta­tive of each’s ideas. Clear Review also enables feed­back to be giv­en in-the-moment. So, whether you’re using a tablet, desk­top or smart­phone, your employ­ees nev­er feel like they can’t talk to you.

Trust in ongo­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion and your com­pa­ny will reap the results.

2. Invest in per­son­al development

Invest in your employee’s per­son­al devel­op­ment and show them that you respect their career paths. You know, trust and respect go hand-in-hand. Trust is easy to build when an employ­ee feels that their moti­va­tions, ideas and per­son­al devel­op­ment are respect­ed and pri­ori­tised. Tak­ing time to lis­ten and under­stand your employ­ees’ per­son­al goals pays off. As does shar­ing the organ­i­sa­tion­al objec­tives of the com­pa­ny and explain­ing how each indi­vid­ual plays their part. Not only do your employ­ees feel lis­tened to, but also val­ued as an instru­men­tal part of your team. The stronger your team, the greater the trust, and the bet­ter the com­pa­ny — it’s as sim­ple as that.

Clear Review empow­ers both employ­ees and man­agers to col­lab­o­rate on SMART objec­tives so that everyone’s voice is heard. Our upward align­ing process gives both par­ties the abil­i­ty to update and change objec­tives to reflect the company’s pri­or­i­ties and tar­gets. Our soft­ware also allows employ­ees to take their per­son­al devel­op­ment into their own hands by cre­at­ing their own SMART per­son­al devel­op­ment objec­tives online. Employ­ees don’t want to be micro­man­aged, they want to be guid­ed. Giv­ing an employ­ee space to lay out their per­son­al devel­op­ment strat­e­gy is a ges­ture of trust that proves you’re invest­ed in their development.

3. Cre­ate a cul­ture of accountability

Take steps to cre­ate a cul­ture of account­abil­i­ty, both amongst your employ­ees and your man­ag­ing staff. Mis­takes hap­pen — we’re only human after all. But when a leader pass­es the buck and refus­es to take respon­si­bil­i­ty for their actions and ideas, trust is broken.

As a leader in the com­pa­ny, it is your respon­si­bil­i­ty to show that your com­pa­ny val­ues per­son­al account­abil­i­ty. When you fail to do so, both trust and respect is lost. In a recent study, one in five peo­ple claimed that they quit their posi­tion because of a leader who passed the buck.’ And it doesn’t stop at com­pa­ny lead­ers. A cul­ture of account­abil­i­ty with­in the com­pa­ny, at every lev­el, is inte­gral to the main­te­nance of trust.

Account­abil­i­ty means that every­one acknowl­edges their mis­takes, takes respon­si­bil­i­ty for them and are, most impor­tant­ly, will­ing to learn from them. But how do you fos­ter account­abil­i­ty with­out sim­ply point­ing the fin­ger and call­ing out employ­ees? Well, con­tin­u­ous per­for­mance man­age­ment pro­vides a sim­ple and effec­tive solu­tion. By check­ing-in reg­u­lar­ly with employ­ees, you’re able to focus on prag­mat­ic next steps rather than play­ing the blame game.

Unlike annu­al per­for­mance reviews that iden­ti­fy mis­takes all-too-late, con­tin­u­ous per­for­mance man­age­ment catch­es prob­lems as soon as they arise. Your employ­ees are then able to work with you to resolve and improve what­ev­er mis­take has been made. The result? Your employ­ees feel that you trust them to take respon­si­bil­i­ty for their work. At the same time, you’re able to fix prob­lems quick­ly and effi­cient­ly. Improved pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and empow­ered employ­ees — it’s a win-win.

4. Iden­ti­fy pat­terns of bias

Recen­cy bias, pur­pose­ful bias, gen­der bias, racial bias. Bias and prej­u­dice can rear its ugly head in a myr­i­ad of ways. It’s no sur­prise that when peo­ple feel like they’ve been tar­get­ed or vic­timised because of bias or prej­u­dice, trust is lost. Bias leads to rash deci­sions and dis­crim­i­na­to­ry prac­tices that get to the very core of the company.

More and more com­pa­nies are recog­nis­ing the prob­lem of bias in the work­place and tack­ling it head-on. Take, for exam­ple, Star­bucks’ deci­sion to close 8,000 of its stores on a Tues­day after­noon for a com­pa­ny-wide racial bias train­ing. Respond­ing to an inci­dent in April when two black men were arrest­ed and escort­ed off of the premis­es for no rea­son at all, the mon­u­men­tal ges­ture was an attempt to rebuild the trust of its clients. Star­bucks state­ment was clear: Trust us, we don’t allow for racism’.

The prob­lem with bias is that it can be hard to spot. Blurred bound­aries and deep-held beliefs make call­ing out bias incred­i­bly com­plex. But with con­tin­u­ous per­for­mance man­age­ment, reg­u­lar feed­back and check-ins all record­ed online, it’s eas­i­er to spot pat­terns of bias. Bias may be hard to tack­le on a grand scale, but when approached at the micro-lev­el it becomes more man­age­able and your employ­ees can trust in your com­mit­ment to fight­ing unfair bias and prejudice.

Clear Review’s per­for­mance man­age­ment soft­ware has helped to imple­ment a cul­ture of trust in some of the world’s biggest com­pa­nies. Book a free per­for­mance man­age­ment soft­ware demo today to see how Clear Review’s soft­ware can help your com­pa­ny to build a sol­id foun­da­tion for success.