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Why trust matters

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in Office Communication,Workplace Communication

Trust in the workplace is earned, not simply handed to us at orientation as our ID badges are. For managers, trust is a vital professional component that defines their ability to inspire others. Employees who do not trust their managers also do not respect them, and this can lead to a variety of acts of insubordination, from disdain to apathy to outright rebellion.

Know how others view you

Most managers start with a clean slate and over time give their employees reasons to either trust or distrust them—to create an identity. Being a manager is like being an office celebrity. Everyone knows who you are and you must cultivate every aspect of your reputation and managerial image. Everything from the style of shoes you wear to how you treat subordinates on the elevator shapes how others perceive you. But you can’t complain; you signed up for this, so embrace it.

Respect goes a long way

Lauren Shafer, founder and manager of a successful medical billing practice in New York City, explains, “I think it takes happy employees to run a successful business and/or provide quality customer service. From a managerial prospective, without mutual respect, there will be no happy employees. Everyone wants to be treated with respect no matter the job role. It provides people with a sense of value and self-worth. As the owner of a small business, respect is something I have earned from my employees/ co-workers, and it’s something I try to maintain every day.”

Use your authority as a manager to both make your company money and treat your employees well. Keeping every employee happy all the time is impossible, of course, but garnering the trust of your employees will create an environment where happiness is valued, promoted and protected. When employees know that their manager will never take undo credit for their work or throw them under the bus for making a mistake, they will work harder and more enthusiastically.

Establish trust through actions

Trust is established through actions: by ensuring that Deidra from accounting received praise for her suggestions to streamline the payroll and that Thomas from human resources wasn’t harangued for making an honest mistake with the performance reviews. As a manager and office celebrity, your behavior shapes how others perceive you. Which type of office celebrity would you rather be: George Clooney or Charlie Sheen?

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