smb-tech-trendsWhen I wrote about empowering your team in a recent post, I included as one of the steps the importance of instilling trust in your employees. Trusting your employees gives them the confidence to make decisions on their own without fear of reprisal. In other words, it’s okay to learn from your mistakes.

But how effective are most organizations in creating an environment of trust?  A recent survey indicates most are not doing a good job of it.  Global PR firm Edelman recently released its 13th annual Trust Barometer for 2013, which indicated that only 18 percent of 31,000 respondents from around the world trust business leaders to tell the truth. In other words, 82 percent of employees don’t trust their bosses.

The survey shows just how important your leadership is in creating a culture of trust if one is to exist at your small business; and it should. A trusting environment extends beyond your team members to your customers. Employees who trust the organization are more inclined to give their all for each other, for the business and for your customers. Also with so many employees working remotely these days, building a culture of trust is even more important so employees wherever they are feel connected and committed.

In “5 keys to building a culture of trust,” Dr. Ray Benedetto, who teaches leadership at the University of Phoenix Chicago Campus, and serial entrepreneur Tom Walter, offer some principles of building a culture of trust. Among them:

employees working togetherFulfill promises: Do what you say you will. When you do the right thing, take responsibility for your actions and are accountable for outcomes, you show you are a trustworthy leader.

Show you care: Demonstrate that you care for your team members. Building trust requires leaders to show they care about others.

Communicate values, vision and mission: As a leader, you need to constantly communicate your small business goals and values as well as what guides your decision making.  Achieving best results means everyone must be invested in the outcome, which starts with understanding and embracing values and goals.

I’d add to these:

  • Foster collaboration so that your team members learn from each other.  There are lots of tools to help with this such as Skype and other web or video conferencing platforms.
  • Encourage team members to be open with each other and  approach conflicts with the intent to seek resolution.

What do you do to build trust within your small business?

Help us get out the vote for 2013 Small Business Influencer Award

Vote-2013-125x125-red - Copy-4It’s an honor to be among the nominees for the 2013 Small Business Influencer Awards. Voting is underway and continues until September 9. You can vote daily until then.  We appreciate your vote!