Having an Open Door Policy to Create Trust is Essential

The component of trust in businesses is a necessity and has to be the very foundation on which a company is built. It is essential to company’s bottom line and with trust you can actually improve an organization’s profitability. Nevertheless, if management neglects to build trust inside an organization it can take down an organization as we have witnessed in many cases over the years such as Enron or Arthur Anderson, and Worldcom for example. Trust must begin from business owners themselves, down through all of the employees. It should be part of the company’s manifesto.

Trust begins with communications of the owner or CEO, and carried out by all levels of the organization.  To instill trust inside the fabric of one’s organization the topic must be demonstrated by Management continually. Nevertheless, it doesn’t have to be verbally discussed often because it will feel insincere. However, it must be established that Trust is a foundational principle of the organization.

Here are 3 things that can be done to instill trust among your employees and your customers:

  1. Open communication is essential to build trust. Communication is the key to a successful organization.  Clear communication internally and externally should be often, clear and most significantly, it must be truthful. Talk about good news as well as bad news, client comments, efficiency measures, and others. The connection you establish as the business leader with your employees and customers is that you are good to your word.  That the company’s principles and objectives are providing a clear and honest communication internally with your employees, and externally with your customers. Let them know that the judgments, you make as the leader are according to the company’s ideals and objectives. Don’t hold information details back. Employees appear to have excellent radar in regards to potentially negative news. For Example in an extreme case: be open if there is a possibility of lay-offs and emphasize that you’ll keep them up to date. Also, make sure to stress what can be done to prevent such action, if any, and what is being done to advert any potential loss of jobs. This will make your employees somewhat relax, and do what they can to reverse the situation, because these people will trust that you’re going to share important information with them.
      • Motivate an open-door policy with your employees. Give them platform to offer ideas on improvements such as improving a procedure, or suggestions to increase their productivity. Design your office to be a comfortable place where your employees could discuss circumstances that may be disturbing them with no anxiety about repercussion. When you feel like your employees would be uncomfortable with personal meetings, put a suggestion box in the workplace where issues, concerns, and problems may be sent in. An open-door approach demonstrates a more powerful level of confidence between leaders and employees. On the other hand, trust needs time to be established and as the effectiveness of your relationships enhances you will find a way to eliminate the suggestion box at the office.
      • Increase the consistency of performance evaluations with your employees. Communicating with them regarding their job is important to in building trust. Majority of businesses will only evaluate an employee’s performance once a year. The trouble with an annual review is that the employee will not know that you had a problem with their performance up until the end of the year evaluation. This unfavorable feedback may affect a salary increase or a promotion consideration for the next year. The experience for the employee being hit by a poor assessment so late in the game could collapse the trust which has been developed, especially when it is almost “too late” to fix it in their eyes. Providing more frequent overall performance discussions will provide individuals a chance to improve their performance, and meet or exceed your expectations prior to the final review. People need to know what needs fixing, so they have the opportunity to change. Any time you communicate constructive criticism in regards to performance, or potentially disappointing feedback to an employee, I suggest also highlighting areas the employee is exceeding or matching your desired performance within that job function. This allows them to feel that they can “win” and have a good chance of meeting your objectives.

3. Integrity is at the center of trust. So as to build trust there has to be honesty. Your workers must feel positive that the information they receive from you is accurate, concrete and based in fact. A company dependent on transparency will discover that it is much easier to present good or bad news with credibility.

4. Get rid of Favoritism. Deal with all your workers with equal respect, and admiration based on what each individual has to offer. This will allow for a higher degree of confidence among your employees. If they are aware that you are going to treat everybody fairly, and give promotions based on their work efficiency, you will gain their respect. Employees work performance, the level of quality of their output, and their commitment to their jobs ought to be the only factors behind promotions, incentives, or bonuses. As soon as your employees start to feel that your judgments are dependent on favoritism for example you will deteriorate the effectiveness of your staff, department and overall company.

The advantages of building trust is the fact that it will definitely create a team that functions together as one unit. Your staff will have higher morale, leading to less turmoil and discord. With trust being a basic foundation of your company, your employees will have an improved level of commitment to fulfill the goals you’ve set out for you all to accomplish. The business, your customers, and you, would all be the benefactors.