Trust is often talked about as the bedrock of a company’s success. Most people think about the issue in terms of customers: They have to believe in you and your products and services. But trust within the organization is just as important: Your employees must believe in each other. When they don’t, communication, teamwork and performance inevitably suffer. After New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger fired the newspaper’s editor, Jill Abramson, in May, he explained that he’d repeatedly warned her that she was losing the trust of the newsroom. But how do you build trust in the workplace?
Trust is an “evolving thing that ebbs and flows,” says David DeSteno, a professor of psychology at Northeastern University and the author of The Truth About Trust. And yet it’s essential to boosting employee engagement, motivation, and candor. Employees are more likely to follow through on goals set by a manager they trust and to be more forthcoming about the challenges they see on their level.