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Lack of trust is a common complaint in today’s workplace. In some cases, it’s seen in employees who don’t trust their boss or coworkers to keep confidential information private. Or it may surface when coworkers don’t feel that they can count on other team-members to complete their end of the project. These trust issues create many problems in the workplace according to an article by Joyce E.A. Russell in The Washington Post.
One of the biggest downsides to a prevailing lack of trust is that employees focus their attention on negative feelings about their colleagues rather than working productively. They hold grudges, conceal their mistakes, dread meetings, and are constantly concerned about things like other employee’s hidden agendas. And as a consequence they spend more time on negative issues and less time doing their work.
But, there are ways that companies can build trust in the workplace. One way is to get employees to see each other as people. Russell suggests that one way to facilitate this is to use a “Personal Histories Exercise” where colleagues share something personal about themselves such as hobbies, interests, etc. She notes that this exercise coworkers to relate to each other as human beings not just coworkers.
Also, there are many things that leaders can do to develop trust.
Leaders need to serve as role models. They need to do what they say they will, keep confidential information private, and not talk badly about employees in front of others.
Leaders need to keep employees informed. This means they need to be accessible. During tough times, leaders need to recognize that employees have concerns and address them.
Leaders need to show respect and empathy. They need to show people that they care about them as individuals not just as employees.
To read the complete article visit The Washington Post.
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