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.