Trust is obviously important in life.
You appreciate when others trust you. When they trust you then you’re likely to do the best you can to make sure that you continue to have their trust.
But do you offer the same trust to your employees?
In life, I would say that most of us give people the benefit of the doubt. We trust them until we’re proven wrong.
But that’s difficult sometimes especially if you keep getting burned. That can wear you down especially in business. People don’t follow through and you start losing trust in everybody including employees even if they haven’t done anything wrong.
When Employees Don’t Have Your Trust
How do you react when someone doesn’t trust you?
There are two ways to go:
1. You can work hard to build back the trust that you had.
2. You can figure it’s a lost cause and give up effort.
When your employees feel that they don’t have your trust they might go with the second option. They might figure that there is no way they’re going to please you so they might as well give the minimum effort required to keep their job.
They might feel that they weren’t given a fair shake. Maybe they made one mistake and as a result they feel like you don’t trust them anymore to do a good job.
Maybe you shouldn’t trust them. Maybe you should. Either way, the employee is going to struggle to do good work going forward.
Going back to my rule, trust your employees until they really prove your wrong.
Obviously there is no set rule on when you should stop trusting someone. If they keep breaking your trust and don’t show signs of improvement then it’s time to move on. More on that later.
But with most people it’s important to always go into the relationship offering your trust. Expect the person to do great things. Expect them to do a good job with what you ask them to do.
It’s good to have standards for people. You want to expect people to do good things. This can be a self-fulfilling prophecy in a way.
You expect people to do great things and they do.
On the other hand, if you expect them to fail then they’ll probably fail. Even if they do a good job you’ll find a way, in your own mind, to find a reason that their effort wasn’t good enough.
But one interesting thing about high expectations is that we often hold others to higher standards than ourselves. We know that we make mistakes. When we do we fix them. Then we move on.
But if someone else makes the same type of mistake we really let it get to us and it can be easy to lose trust in the person even though we likely would have made the same mistake in their situation.
How To React To Mistakes
I’ll also lump things like being late and issues like that into this area of mistakes. All the things that lead to you potentially losing trust in someone fit into this category.
People are going to make mistakes. It’s not easy to see people making mistakes, but you can lose trust in them or you can trust that they have the ability to improve.
From there you can look at it from what you can do to help them improve. Give them the tools they need to improve. Maybe that’s guidance. Maybe it’s a different training tactic.
Try some different approaches and see if the issues begin to resolve. At some point you’re going to have to move on if the person isn’t fit for the job, but try to keep your trust that they’ll do a good job.
People generally will fulfill what you expect of them. If you don’t trust people then they’ll probably let you down. They’ll sense that you don’t trust them and that will add pressure which will result in poor results. Or they’ll just give up and revert to doing the minimum.
But if you show trust and belief in them they’ll likely pull through and prove you right. We like working with people that trust in us and believe in us. Think about your own life. You likely would rather work with people that trust your experience and your ability to do good things in the future.
Show your employees the same trust and they’ll more often than not prove you right.