How to earn your employees' trust

Are communication gaps affecting relationships at work?

How to earn your employees' trust

There’s a fine line between engaging employees regularly and micromanaging them, according to a new 15Five study on the next-generation workplace.

To keep communication healthy, managers need to establish transparency and trust.

“Without those two traits, conversations and 1-on-1s can’t include discussions about mental and emotional health, let alone job dissatisfaction and performance issues,” workplace analysts noted.

The communication process doesn’t necessarily happen from the top down, either. Conversation forums and company-wide survey prompts are also designed to encourage staff to give feedback to higher-ups.

Despite the importance of reaching out to team leaders, however, only less than half of employees claimed their managers were open to feedback.

READ MORE: The three worst things you can do with employee feedback

The power of weekly check-ins
Employees who are given the opportunity to touch base with their manager at least once a week reportedly show improvements in their confidence and trust in the management. Through a weekly check-in:

  • 73% are ‘extremely confident’ in their managers’ ability as leaders
  • 84% are always honest with their manager
  • 56% believe their 1-on-1s are ‘very productive and useful’
  • 58% ask for personal advice during a 1-on-1
  • 61% claim their managers are ‘extremely open’ to suggestions
  • 50% of those who find their 1-on-1s to be ‘very productive and useful’ plan to stay with their organisation for five years or more

How to build rapport during weekly check-ins
Experts at 15Five have provided a checklist for managers who are only starting to navigate their way through weekly check-ins:

Establish a regular cadence. “Make sure that conversations are consistent. Try 30 minutes once a week to start.”

Encourage two-way communication. “Discussions are only effective when both parties are engaged and participatory.”

Prepare an agenda. “Use time effectively by having a concept of the conversation flow before meeting.”

Do your homework. “Come with talking points, objectives and priorities gathered from the previous week.”

Begin by touching base. “Get a pulse on how both of you are feeling. Building trust will encourage honesty.”

End with action items. “Assemble key takeaways from the conversation as objectives for the next 1-on-1.”

“It’s up to leaders to support employees with well-trained managers and the communication infrastructure necessary to encourage valuable conversations,” the report said. “Through meaningful, consistent check-ins and 1-on-1s, organisations can bridge the gaps dividing their people and heal fractured relationships.”

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