But trust is becoming more difficult to find in today's workplace says Nan S. Russell, author of "The Titleless Leader."
"We are in an era of distrust, and people look at each other very differently than they did in the past. They are often listening more to others at their peer level than they are to their managers."
In the November issue of Customer Service Newsletter, Russell suggests a four-step approach to building trust:
Start on low — "Early in a new relationship, you might say, 'Run it by me first,'" says Russell. And if that happens, you can move forward, giving more trust as it makes sense according to project needs, experience, and communication levels.
Move to medium — When things are going well, and the employee is clearly demonstrating accountability, you can up the ante by saying something like, "Keep me posted on what you are doing." And if you continue to receive status reports and updates that you are comfortable with, then you can add more trust.
Move higher and higher — "Eventually, extremely high trust relationships operate with something like, 'Let me know if you get into trouble or need my help.' But even at very high trust levels, communication updates remain essential," says Russell.
Lower trust levels when necessary — If the accountability of the person slips or project requirements change significantly, sometimes it is necessary to scale back the level of trust and increase your involvement for a time. Relationships built on trust to begin with will survive those occasional, necessary fluctuations in trust levels, Russell says.
More on building trust with your employees appears in the November issue of Customer Service Newsletter.
About the Customer Service Group
For more than 20 years, the Customer Service Group has helped customer service, call center and help desk managers increase productivity, improve service quality and boost customer satisfaction, loyalty and retention. The Customer Service Group publishes "Customer Service Newsletter" and "The Customer Communicator."