8 Nurturing Ways To Build Trust In The Workplace

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Image by: Victor1558
By Josie Alexander

One of the ways to build a healthy, productive work environment is to create an environment where your employees and colleagues can be themselves, feel trusted, and be trustful of you.

I’ve researched tons of trust exercises and other group projects that are supposed to build trust in your workplace but most of these don’t dig down deep enough. Often, we are forced to trust the people we work with, for no other reason except for the fact that we work with each other.

The factors that a lot of these trust exercises and programs lack are the intrinsic reasons for trust. Once you focus on the various factors that go into the intrinsic drivers of trust then people will naturally begin to open themselves up in the workplace.

Employee Motivation Specialist Susanne Jacobs has gotten some fame recently, after she created the Jacobs model. It links the eight intrinsic drivers of trust which are impacted by the wellbeing of an individual and her work environment. So let’s take a look at these drivers, shall we? Let’s explore the driver and how we can nurture that driver in the workplace.

#1) A Sense Of Belonging And Connection

When people feel a connection to a team and have a sense of belonging, they have a tendency of working harder for those people. It is natural for people to strive for a sense of connection. In order to form healthy connections with each other at work, we must create a friendly environment and praise the efforts that lead toward building those connections.

#2) Give People A Voice And Recognition

People should feel encouraged to express their opinions, ideas, and views at the workplace as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone. When people feel like their contributions are acknowledged, they start to feel more appreciated and are more open to trusting people around them in that environment.

#3) Give People Significance And Position

People have a tendency to feel threatened when they don’t feel valued. They become disillusioned and jaded. Even if you are not, employees are constantly assessing the role that they have in your business. Make sure that their contributions are recognized that they don’t feel threatened and you shouldn’t see a negative impact in their performance.

#4) A Sense Of Fairness

If someone feels as though her workplace environment is not fair, she will begin to stress. And I’m not talking about a healthy level of stress, where she strives to put forth her best effort. Instead, the opposite reaction may occur.

If she feels as though she isn’t being treated fairly, it may result in low productivity and a high level of unhealthy stress. Make sure you are acknowledging your employees for their hard work.

#5) Challenge Employees And Coworkers To Learn

I’ve read countless research papers and evidence that proves that when employees are challenged, they are more productive. Even the most (especially the most) difficult employee must be challenged in order to be productive and focused.

Not only that but when it comes to learning at work, most of us are willing and happy to learn about our jobs if the information is given in an interesting and effective way. That doesn’t mean that you should pack everyone in a room and bore them with an hour-long PowerPoint presentation.

That means that you should engage your team while they are learning. Supplement your PowerPoint with interactive activities that showcase the various talents of your team members.

#6) A Sense Of Security And Certainty

If your employees feel as though their job isn’t secure and their position at your business is uncertain, they naturally become untrusting of their environment. They feel as though everything is threatening their well-being. So in order to alleviate this sentiment, it is important to make sure that you continuously make your employees feel as though they are part of the family.

Congratulate them when it is appropriate. Talk to them like people instead of just talking about them or down to them.

#7) Give People A Sense Of Purpose

When workers have a clear sense of purpose, they will be more focused, engaged, and dedicated to their work. When people are given wishy-washy instructions at work, they will become confused and unmotivated to fulfill the task at hand. We often have a “need to please” when it comes to our superiors and we aren’t able to do that when we don’t have clear directions.

#8) Give Employees Choice And Autonomy

If you give your employees the ability to have control over their work, they will find a healthy balance between work and home, which will lead to happier and more productive employees. They don’t want to feel like they are being treated like babies and they don’t want to be alienated from the team. There is a sense of balance that must be kept but more often than not, a little more control over their work is all they need.


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