Trust – It ain’t just a word, it’s the secret sauce every competent boss should be spreading generously on their team sandwich. You see, leaders who have their crew’s trust are like rockstars with superpowers. Their staff become more engaged, productive and innovative, less stressed, and less likely to ghost them for greener pastures. But trust is a dance of two, and sometimes the boss’s dance shoes may end up pinching their toes.
In our wild world of remote and hybrid work, it seems that leaders are feeling a little pinch in their trust-o-meter for their employees – Microsoft even put it in writing. And what happens when a leader starts side-eyeing a team member? Cue anxiety, an unwillingness to dish out responsibilities, and a worrying love affair with micromanaging.
When You’re Not Clicking Your Trust Heels for an Employee
Feeling skittish about trusting a team member? Don’t fret, here are five steps to make the waltz of trust a little smoother.
Nail The Pesky Distrust Bug
When you mutter something like “I just don’t trust them,” don’t let it stew. Trust ain’t a blanket term, it’s situational. Sweat on the details – do you not trust their networking skills but reckon they’re wizard-like with your tech troubles?
Trust-building has three pillars – competency, consistency, and character. So, which pillar did your employee shake? Spot that and separate why you’re feeling twitchy.
Eye the ‘Trusty Zones’
Jot down tasks you would gladly let your trust-challenged employee perform. Level up their responsibility in low-risk conditions – maybe handing them the mentorship of a novice or leading a team meetup? Show faith in them; it might do wonders for their morale and your trust.
Talk it Out
When your employee is showing behaviour that lands a punch on your trust, it’s time to chat. Be clear, descriptive and real about the issues without throwing around the ‘T’ word.
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
When trust turns slippery, eye your own actions too. Have you neglected responsibilities on your end? Also, keep in mind trust is a two-way street, so invest in showing that you can be trusted as well.
Is it Time for a Goodbye?
You can rebuild trust, sure. But there are moments when it’s just better to call it quits. If the trust fracture is too severe, it may be time to plan for a team reshuffle.
Two-way trust is the lifeblood of a vibrant work atmosphere. If it’s leaking, patch it up using these steps. And remember, broken trust can be mended, leading to a lively, kick-ass work zone.
BUT, ignoring trust issues will create more problems.
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