By Shep Hyken
Just a few weeks ago, I wrote about how to create trust with customers. No doubt, a customer who trusts you is more likely to do business with you. And while that is obviously important, creating trust with employees may be even more so. A company that is trusted by customers is first trusted by employees.
With that in mind, here are my top three ways to create employee trust:
- Let employees do the job they were hired to do. If this sounds like the concept of empowerment, well, it is. After you hire good people and properly train them to do their jobs, don’t get in their way! Don’t block their capabilities by micromanaging and not empowering them to do the job they have been hired to do. And by the way, when they do a great job, let them know it. Employees want to be recognized and appreciated for the work they do.
- Get and act on employee feedback. Employees want to give feedback but often feel uncomfortable doing so. So, make it easy for employees to share their feedback. Some companies have a formal feedback program that makes it easy for employees to share ideas to improve virtually every area. And once you get the feedback, do something with it. If you want to kill the energy of a good employee feedback program, all you have to do is … nothing. If you choose not to acknowledge and act on feedback, it’s only a matter of time before the ideas and suggestions stop coming in. After all, why should someone take the time to share constructive feedback if nothing is done?
- Leadership must be approachable. A few years ago, I had an idea for a short film. It was a spoof on the movie Mission Impossible. It was a story about a front liner who had an idea he wanted to share with an executive in the C-Suite. He called for an appointment and was turned down. His emails weren’t answered. This idea was really, really good, but he couldn’t get leadership to respond. As the movie title implies, getting the leaders’ attention was an impossible mission. The point is that leadership and management must create opportunities that allow employees to engage with them. You want employees to have a connection with leadership.
If you’ve been following my work, you’ll recognize this concept: What’s happening inside the organization is felt on the outside by the customers. How you treat, talk to, and trust employees set the tone for the culture that will permeate outward toward your customers. Employee trust fosters customer trust. The result is that employees stay, and customers come back. And what company wouldn’t be happy with that?