Your personal brand must communicate trustworthiness if you are in a leadership position or looking to move into one.
When trust isn’t present, your team members will never feel confident that you have their best interests at heart. As a result, their performance will suffer, and you’ll end up with a revolving door of competent but dissatisfied employees. However, if you do the work to build trust, your people will stay by your side through thick and thin.
You Can’t Have Loyalty Without Trust
The other night I stumbled upon a reality show about an animal clinic. The owner was selling his business to a more prominent veterinary practice, but he hadn’t told any of his employees. He was afraid that talking before he closed the deal would endanger his prospects. It was a small company, and so it didn’t take long before rumors began to fly.
When one of his team members confronted him about what he’d heard and asked if he would keep his job, the owner finally came clean and admitted that he wasn’t sure. His employee decided to quit. It was not because he assumed he would lose his job, but because he no longer trusted his boss. “If you’re not going to stand up for me or be honest with me,” he said, “then why should I be loyal to you?”
You Can Build Trust and Loyalty with the Truth
It doesn’t matter if you work for a company of five people or five thousand; telling the truth is always good for business. Unfortunately, leaders often hold off on sharing critical information because they don’t want that information to go public and hurt their brand. They fail to understand that employees only spread rumors or reveal sensitive information when they feel no loyalty.
When your employees inevitably hear something through the grapevine, whether it’s true or not, they will wonder why you weren’t the person to tell them and assume it’s due to a lack of trust. As a leader, you have a responsibility to model the behavior you expect from your employees. If you don’t trust your people enough to be honest with them, they will have no reason to be loyal.
Five Keys to Build Trust and Loyalty With Your Team
If you want to build strong relationships with your team and create an environment that encourages loyalty, the following tips can help.
- Spend time with your people: Get to know your employees as human beings. Ask deep questions. Get curious about their goals and aspirations. Listen when they open up to you about their struggles.
- Ask for feedback: As a leader, it can be easy to forget that your team members have valuable opinions. Ask them if they agree with your decisions and encourage them to be honest. Ask what they might do differently. If they know you respect their input, they will be more loyal to you.
- Always be transparent: Whenever possible, tell your employees the truth, particularly in circumstances when their jobs are on the line. If confidentiality issues make it impossible to be completely open, let them know that you’ll fill them in as soon as you can. If you say nothing, people will start to gossip.
- Fess up to your mistakes: You’re not perfect, and that’s a good thing. Flaws make you human. Admit your mistakes, apologize when necessary, and then move on. Model this behavior for your employees, and they will reward you with their trust and loyalty.
- Keep it confidential: In most cases, when someone comes to you with sensitive information, you should keep it to yourself. If what they tell you is vital to your team’s success, ask if there’s a version of the story that you can share without revealing everything.
Have an Open-Door Policy
One of the best leaders I ever worked with had an “open-door policy.” I knew that I could go to her with any question, concern, or suggestion, and she would listen with interest and empathy. When I encountered a problem, she was always willing to walk me through the solution.
Ultimately, your team will trust you when they feel safe talking to you. Even and especially in times of conflict, they will value open lines of communication and reward you with loyalty and hard work.
If you want to build trust for a more reliable personal brand, let’s talk. Schedule a 30-minute Brand U complimentary call with me today! SCHEDULE