JOURNAL ARTICLE | Harvard Business Review | 84 | September 2006
Winning Your Employees' Trust
Most employees don't trust their leaders. And when they don't, stress and divisiveness prevail. Performance erodes, and talented workers head for more motivating environments. To avoid this scenario, win your employees' trust through these practices: cultivate the qualities that lead employees to trust you. For instance, when people believe you'll put yourself at risk for them, their trust grows. The lesson? Demonstrate genuine concern for employees and make appropriate sacrifices for them. Combat trust's enemies. For example, consider the trust-destroying rumors that circulate when managers withhold information during change initiatives. To battle this trust enemy, be forthright--even if that means saying you don't know what will happen. Make decisions fairly. When you make choices in ways people perceive as fair (for instance, you invite their input and explain your reasoning), they trust you. Building and maintaining trust count among your most crucial tasks.