Trust is the foundation of a productive and positive workplace environment. It builds mutual respect and credibility, fosters open and honest communication, and encourages teams to be creative and share their ideas. These are all essential elements of running a successful business in today’s competitive market.
Of course, no matter how much trust you’ve built over the years, it can be lost in an instant. When there are significant changes in the workplace—such as an office relocation or fitout—it’s vital to retain trust between staff and management, so there is minimal disruption to the business during this time. While it can be an exciting time for your business, change can bring out insecurities in staff who may be unsure about how it will impact them and their role.
A workplace strategy is one of the best ways to manage staff expectations and keep morale high during an office relocation or fitout. It will ensure you maintain trust with staff during the change, so they feel confident that their career is in safe hands. Not sure where to start? Here are a few ways to build trust in your workplace environment.
Open communication and transparency is always important, but particularly during times of change. A culture of secrecy, with lots of private meetings among management, can be unsettling to other staff and lead to a lack of trust. Try to keep staff informed on a regular basis so they understand how the change will affect them and the benefits they will enjoy as a result. If the news is bad or uncertain, it’s still important to practice open and honest communication with your staff. Managing bad news with dignity and respect will maintain trust and result in a stronger and more cohesive business.
Recognising the hard work and achievements of staff goes a long way to building trust and can positively impact performance and retention. It can also reduce stress and anxiety among staff and make them feel like their wellbeing is being looked after. Management should actively listen to staff and understand what they need to feel nurtured in the workplace environment. Addressing these needs will help staff become happier and more productive over the long term. During times of change, it’s even more important to listen to staff, make them feel heard and ensure they have some level of involvement in the project.
One of the most important character traits of a trusted leader is that they do what they say they will do. Not once or twice, but all the time. This sense of integrity is vital for building trust in the workplace environment. If you or your management team are unpredictable in your decision making or behaviour, it creates a sense of uncertainty among staff and they can feel like they are being lied to, even if it’s not your intention. People like coming to work knowing what to expect, so try to keep your word and set up routines like a weekly team meeting, so people feel secure in their job and trust you to guide them through the change.
People trust other people, not logos or names. That’s why it’s so important to remind staff that you and your management team are real people who are there to support them during the office relocation or fitout. Get to know your staff and give them a chance to get to know you, by being accessible and chatting to them about things you may have in common, such as sport, travel or food. This will help them understand that despite your position, you are still part of the team. Just remember not to play favourites, as this is a surefire way of losing trust among staff who aren’t part of that group.
Looking to build trust in your workplace environment? Get in touch with our team and learn more about our workplace strategy solutions.