Let’s be real for a minute. It can be tough to gain the trust of your employees when you are new to organization, but it can be even tougher when you are a young professional trying to break into your career at a new organization and everyone else has been with the company and/or in a professional role for ages. You don’t want to be the new human resources person coming into an organization that changes everything, making everyone hate you. But then again- you didn’t start that job to make friends either. However, you still want those employees to be able to trust you. So what can you do to gain your employees’ trust? Check out these three tips:
- Be Vulnerable. At #SHRM17, we had the privilege of listening to Patrick Lencioni speak about being a team player. He talked about a self-assessment available on his website that employees could take to determine their strengths as they relate to being humble, hungry, or smart. Lencioni challenged each of us to take this assessment back to our teams and have them complete it. Most importantly he challenged us, HR pros, to complete the assessment and share with our teams what our strengths and weaknesses were. He said, “be vulnerable.” He told us to share this info with our team because it would help them see us as one of them and encourage them to trust us.
- Listen, Process, and Take Action. Employees that trust their HR team will likely start opening up and sharing with them. It’s important to listen carefully and take appropriate actions if necessary. These three scenarios provide solutions to various circumstances.
a. Scenario 1: Your employees have completed their annual employee engagement survey. They have provided ideas on how to make work processes better. Take the time to evaluate the ideas, determine what you can and cannot implement, and follow up with the team within a reasonable amount of time by explaining your decisions.
b. Scenario 2: An employee approaches you directly with an idea. First thing to remember: don’t say no right away; let them know you will look into it and get back to them. Even if you know the answer is no, you don’t want to shut them down right away because they will likely not come back with additional suggestions. Follow up as promised.
c. Scenario 3: An employee comes to you with a complaint about another employee. Listen attentively, take notes, and determine the best way to move forward. Take action as deemed appropriately and follow up with a high-level summary of what happened.
- Open and Honest Communication. This doesn’t need much explanation. Treat others as you wish to be treated. If you want employees to be honest with you, be honest with them. That’s really all there is to it.
Trust isn’t always easy to come by, so once you earn it, don’t risk losing it. It’s always harder to get it back once it’s been lost.