As a company, your employees sometimes see you as a faceless, emotionless entity, which is true to an extent. However, you do not want to perpetuate that assumption. You want your employees to know that you care about them. If you want to build trust with your employees, you need to show them that you care, not tell them. You can do this in a variety of ways that are both cheap and effective. Here are ten ways you can ensure your employees that you want what is best for them and that you truly care.
1. Identity Verification
When you work at a large company, there are so many employees that no one can possibly know everyone else on a personal level. However, this does not mean that it is impossible to keep your business safe from intruders. Many businesses are taking up the process of identity proofing for both employees and customers. This process creates an account for each person, usually with an email address and some kind of password linked to it, so that your company can be certain that it is safe from outside intruders who have malicious intent to harm your employees and the company at large.
Expanding on the point above, proper security will make every employee feel safer both while they are working and after they leave the office. This can include both physical and cybersecurity. Security guards are essential for dealing with problematic customers and other issues that occur during and after business hours, and cybersecurity is essential to protect the data and finances of the company and the employees. When your employees feel safe at all times while they are working for you, their general opinion of you will be positive, and they will be grateful.
3. Human Resources
Your human resources department serves as the link between your employees and upper management. People come to HR when they have issues with how they are being treated, questions about company policy, or complaints about how the company is run. All of these things, particularly the complaints help employees feel as if they have a voice within the company. It is nice to have this channel of communication between employees and superiors open, but you also have to deliver. People will be expecting that their complaints be addressed, so you have to take these complaints into consideration so that your channel of communication is not an empty gesture.
4. Social Media
When a company has a social media presence, it helps to humanize that company in the mind of the public, especially if the account is run as a personal account rather than a corporate one. This tip about social media will likely quell the concerns of your customers more than your employees, but public perception can still have an effect on employee morale. Hire a younger person to manage your social media accounts. They typically have a better grasp of what works than older people do.
One way to create a better sense of community and trust within your company is by creating friendly competitions for employees to participate in that can end in small rewards. These rewards can range from a small prize, such as a mug with the company logo, to a large prize like an extra vacation day. Decide what type of competition would work the best in your corporate environment and what prize fits the size of the contest. When your employees see that you deliver on the prizes you promise, they will be more likely to trust what you say in the future.
6. Work Environment
The stereotypical American work environment is a cold, monotonous, boring one. It is stiff and professional with no hint of liveliness present. If you take steps to change this, you will almost definitely see a change in how your employees work. Relax the stiff rules a little bit, and let people enjoy themselves. This is not to say that you should dissolve any sense of rules or order, but you can afford to make things a little less stiff. Have lower-ranking employees address superiors by their first names instead of titles. Small changes like this can make a big difference.
7. Personal Touches
As mentioned above, when you have dozens or hundreds of employees, it is impossible to know everyone on a personal level. One example of a way to combat this lack of personal knowledge is to keep a record of people and celebrate their birthdays at work. This does not have to mean having a big party for every employee’s birthday, but you could announce birthdays over the intercom or buy birthday cookies for the day. There are tons of ways to add these personal touches, and it is up to you to decide which ones work for you.
8. Cultivate Respect
One thing that is becoming more important in modern society is respect. Whether it involves respecting identity, sexuality, or even opinions in general, you should make it clear that your business will not tolerate disrespectful discussion or actions. However, this gesture cannot be the end of that promise; you need to enforce it. Issue warnings to those who do not adhere to this rule, and if it becomes a continuous issue, further disciplinary action may be necessary. An environment of respect makes everyone feel safe and cared for in your company.
9. Delegate Leadership
Sometimes, the best way to get your employees to trust you is by showing them that you trust them. Find meaningful tasks that are usually handled by upper management and delegate those responsibilities to employees around the office. This combats micromanagement, which is one of the biggest pet peeves of many employees. Not only does this create a sense of trust, but it creates leaders among your employees. If someone rises above everyone else as a clear leader, you should keep an eye on him or her in case an opportunity for a promotion comes up in the future.
10. Give Credit
When you are a governing body of sorts, as a business is on a small level, it can be easy to take credit for everything your company does. However, ideas do not come from the company, they come from the people who work for it. If an employee comes up with an idea that pays off in a big way down the line, give them credit for it. This does not mean that you have to tell the public about what one employee accomplished, but make it known within the company that you appreciate that employee’s work.
A trustworthy company creates hardworking employees. No matter how you decide to present yourself to your employees to gain their trust, it is important that you treat them as people rather than numbers or robotic working machines. Every employee is an individual with his or her own problems and lives. That is what you need to remember above anything else. When you treat your employees like people they will be more likely to stick around for a long time. If you do not, you will have trouble retaining employees and getting your employees to do effective work that you can use to run a successful company for many years to come.