Do you get the feeling that your team is murmuring behind your back and cursing the ground you walk on? Well, you might just be paranoid; but you also may be doing things that you’re not even aware of which are driving a wedge between you and your staff.
Honestly, if they all love you, then you’re probably doing something wrong. Nevertheless, you at least need them to trust and respect your leadership, which is why it’s good to do a self-check and see if any of these conditions apply to you.
You’re a Micromanager
It’s a challenge for most of us, when in a position of authority, to resist the urge to micromanage employees. A business owner naturally wants to be sure that everything is getting done the way that it is supposed to get done, and it can be difficult to put that responsibility in the hands of the people who are actually executing it.
Be that as it may, the trust relationship between your team members and you is steadily eroded when you regularly micromanage them. Trust your team, and they will reciprocate it.
You’re Not Around
Your mere presence around the office, or whatever the venue is where daily work takes place, can instill confidence more effectively than you think.
Of course, it is your choice whether you want to be around all the time, but even if you just pop in for a few minutes every day to briefly interface with everybody, it lets your team to know that someone is at the helm, while also showing them that you are personally invested in their daily operations.
Failure to Provide Necessary Time Off
Probably the most obvious cardinal rule for relating to your team is to at least generally take care of them. Yes, they are being paid to be at work, but remember that they are still giving half of their lives (or more) to your company.
It sometimes can be tough for a small business to accommodate time off for employees; however, it’s important to make provisions for them to take care of important personal issues outside of work.
Your team respects your time by showing up every day and getting their work done; returning the same respect for their time will establish a strong foundation of trust with your team.
Showing Blatant Favoritism
Although you obviously don’t have to be best friends with everyone who works for you, it’s a good idea to try to include everyone wherever possible.
People can easily become disgruntled if they feel as if their position is insignificant or not appreciated by the leadership. People will be motivated to put more energy into their work if they feel like they are really part of the team.
Not Keeping Your Team in the Loop
There will always be some things that are provided on a need-to-know basis, which is generally understood. At the same time, a great way to gain the trust of team members is to let them know what is going on with the company, where it is headed, and what they can expect.
It actually probably doesn’t matter so much what you tell them during the meeting; simply bringing everybody together once a month or so makes people feel like they matter to the company, which is key factor in the professional trust relationship.
Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.
Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.