The Human Resource: Building trust with employees

Is employee morale a concern in your business? Is there extensive gossip in your workforce that distracts from getting the job done? Do you get the sense employees are “checked out” and not focused on the business goals? If any of these situations resonate with you, read on.

In prior columns, we have discussed engagement, and a major component of engagement is trust. This is more than trusting the employee will lock up at the end of the day, or will remember to turn the lights off, or they will not steal from the cash drawer. This trust is about the relationship between the supervisor and employee to establish a mutual goal and working together to achieve that goal for the individual and the business.

Employees who do not trust their supervisor or management will not perform their best work, ever. Establish that trust and build the relationship and you will see pride and dedication develop in a way that you couldn’t force no matter what incentives and carrots you wave in front of the employees.

This trust is about an employee believing that the supervisor and, holistically, management truly have the best interest of the employee at heart in all the decisions and activities they do. It means that they respect the contributions of the employee, listen to the employee, and demonstrate through their conduct and behavior that the employee matters to them and to the business.

This is not as difficult as you might think, and the results are amazing. However, it is even easier to fail miserably because this trust must be built on the belief that the caring for the employee is genuine, and that the supervisor really has their best interest at heart.

Now we are not suggesting employers do whatever an employee wants in the workplace, not at all. We are suggesting that when working with your staff, you recognize they are individual people striving with their own professional and personal goals, and they have chosen to work for and with you to achieve your goals as a business. The more you can do to help them achieve success, the great the collective success of your business.

Execution of this strategy starts with building and executing a communication model with the leadership team and demonstrating the behaviors in everything you do. Leaders must help their management team understand the value of trust in the workplace, and how it is created, managed, and sustained. Trust begins with the hiring process through the entire lifecycle of the employee and touches orientation, onboarding, training, work assignments, performance feedback, and much more. Certainly, trust goes two ways, therefore remember that you should also hold your staff accountable for their actions so that you can learn to trust they have the business best interest at heart as well.

Develop positive mutually beneficial relationships with your staff built on trust and respect and you can achieve a wonderful culture, improve retention, and increase productivity.

** The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the ownership or management of Chadds Ford Live. We welcome opposing viewpoints. Readers may comment in the comments section or they may submit a Letter to the Editor to


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

About Warren Cook

Warren is the President and co-founder of SymbianceHR and provides strategic oversight for service delivery, business operations, and technical guidance on consulting engagements. He is a human resources subject matter expert with over 25 years of experience as a strategic human resources business partner, project manager, and people leader across private and public sectors organizations. Warren is responsible for the strategic planning of all client consulting engagements from initial needs assessment and compliance review through delivery of customized strategic solutions that meet the client’s business goals. He has a proven track record of providing executive coaching and guidance to business leaders and human resource professionals at all levels including the C-Suite of Fortune 100 companies. Warren is also the Chief Talent Officer and cofounder of SymbianceHiRe, a Symbiance company dedicated to providing direct placement talent acquisition services and temporary and contract staffing solutions to the business community. Warren holds a B.S. in Human Resource Management, an MBA in Project Management, and a M.S. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Warren is the author of “Applicant Interview Preparation – Practical Coaching for Today.”



Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.