In this article, we'll talk about the importance of trust in the workspace and how it can dramatically improve a company’s work environment.
When I first started working at DASEC, the CEO trusted me. It was surprising to me why she didn’t micromanage me at all, even when we were working remotely. As expected from anyone, there were times when I really messed up at work, guess what? she didn’t blame me or put any additional pressure on me, all we did was focus on what to do next to avoid making the same mistakes. For me it was the most courageous thing someone has ever done, to courage to trust first. My natural response to that was to be more responsible and accountable. Later, I took deep interest in the company’s vision and I worked really hard to help us moving forward.
In this article we’ll talk about the reasons of we don’t trust others, the consequences of doing so and we’ll discuss how a manager can create a great work environment by trusting others.
Why don’t we trust
Why don’t we trust others ? why are we always expecting the worst from others ? why so much fear?
Most people were trained, one generation after the other, to fear the teacher and the parent, and always do what pleases them. We were implicitly taught that others will accept us as long as we are living up to their expectations, and they will reject us when we fail to do so. Unfortunately, many people became the stressed teachers and fearful parents.
The main source of stress is the lack of control. Micromanagers are simply managers who don’t trust their employees and wish they had the energy to do the work themselves. Seeking control of others is a losing battle. It can only generate pressure which will result in a silent push back, the latter is the worst that can happen in a work environment. A silent push back is when the employees are so sick of micro managing that they start holding back and focusing on doing the minimum possible to keep their job.
A place where you don’t feel trusted
Some managers will confess that they stress out if they see an employee taking a 5minutes break. Employees on the other hand work on LOOKING productive to keep their managers at a safe distance. This is just one of many examples on how fear of trusting others can encourage unethical behavior from both managers and other employees.
A highly pressured environment will ultimately lead to fear of innovation, loosening connections within the team and a dramatic decrease in talent retention within the company.
An environment where people constantly feel threatened will not allow for honesty and transparency and will become an environment where dishonest people thrive.
“Why should I trust them ?” a manager might say. Let’s swap places, “Why should they trust you?”, “Why should they trust you to be their leader?”, “Why should they accept orders from you?”, will you scare them or get them to trust you ?
It takes a lot of courage to trust and even more courage to trust first. As a leader, you must lead and be the first to trust you team.
Trust can be demonstrated in the following first steps :
- allowing room for risk taking for people to grow
- admitting mistakes, apologizing and forgiving
- recognizing people’s efforts loudly
- accepting people for who they are
- responding to failures with help and support
Trusted but accountable
The work environment is not a family, it’s a team. You cannot trust and love people unconditionally. It goes without saying that trusting people without holding them accountable will allow for over flexibility. Responsibility is expected.
The culture within the company must allow room for failure, but will expect progress and improvement.
In this article, we talked about the importance of trust in the workspace and how it can dramatically improve a company’s work environment.
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