How to Build Trust with Your Employees

Benefits of a High-Trust Work Culture

  • Retention: When employees trust their colleagues, managers, and senior leaders, they are less likely to leave the organization. Why? Trust is built by letting others in. And when leaders let employees and teams into the decision-making process, explaining the why and how, employees can feel more engaged, united, and confident in the organization’s direction.
  • Engagement: High-trust environments lead to team members who are eager to be involved, volunteer ideas for improvement, and feel ownership of their work. Studies have found that compared with low-trust companies, people at high-trust companies report: 74% less stress, 106% more energy, 13% fewer sick days, and 76% more engagement, among other benefits.
  • Innovation: Team members can feel secure suggesting and trying new ideas — and trust that their leader will support them. Employees need trust from their manager that it’s okay to “fail forward.” They need to know that no one will be punished for trying a new idea or approach.
  • Collaboration and Productivity: Employees may be less likely to wonder about hidden agendas when they trust their teams. They’ll also be less likely to gossip with team members about their thoughts surrounding any hidden agendas. These side conversations can be distracting, halting productivity, and stifling collaboration toward work-related goals.

Flexible Work Arrangements Help Employers Build Trust

Types of Trust in the Workplace

  • Contractual trust — trust of character. Do people do what they say they are going to do? Do managers and employees make clear what they expect of one another?
  • Communication trust — trust of disclosure. How well do people share information and tell the truth?
  • Competence trust — trust of capability. How well do people carry out responsibilities and acknowledge other people’s skills and abilities?

Who Is Responsible for Building a Culture of Trust?

How to Build a Culture of Trust with Your Employees

  • Foster open communication.
  • Be reliable and consistent.
  • Treat everyone with respect and fairness.
  • Show confidence in others.
  1. Maintain or enhance self-esteem.
  2. Listen and respond with empathy.
  3. Ask for help and encourage involvement.
  4. Share thoughts, feelings, and rationale. (to build trust)
  5. Provide support without removing responsibility. (to build ownership)

Trust Is Built on Connection



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store


DDI is a global leadership company that helps organizations transform the way they hire, promote and develop leaders at every level.