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How to Build an Honest Relationship With New Employees

By Chris Christoff, co-founder of MonsterInsights

Too often, managers and leaders in my industry don’t take the time to get to know their newer employees. Because of this, there’s a lack of awareness on both sides about expectations, roles and behaviors. If you don’t believe your team can get the job done, you might end up becoming a micromanager who hinders the business rather than adds to it positively.

The Edelman Trust Barometer found in a survey that 58 percent of employees expect their employer to be a trustworthy source of information. If your team doesn’t think they can trust you, it’ll be difficult for them to see you as a leader they can look up to.

Here’s how you can build an honest relationship with new employees starting right now.

1. Communicate openly.

The Harvard Business Review emphasizes that if there’s a trust issue within your company, it’s your job to fix it. As the leader, you’re in charge of how your company runs and what is and isn’t tolerated. It’s essential to set a positive example for your team so that they know that you take the company’s morals and values seriously.

Refrain from keeping secrets or being sketchy. If something’s going on behind the scenes, be honest about it. If there’s an issue with a particular employee, don’t push it under the rug or take sides. Disagreements are bound to happen — we’re human, after all. However, it’s not okay to ignore situations or make rash decisions when you don’t have the full story.

Wherever issues lie, be open and honest about them. Communicating clearly to your team is vital if you want everyone to be on the same page and open with one another. This doesn’t mean speaking negatively; instead, remain friendly and get your point across with a level head.

2. Hire for character.

Of course it’s important that your employees can perform tasks to get things done, but what’s more important is to look for personality traits and characteristics you admire when hiring new employees.

Hard skills matter, but not nearly as much as soft skills such as how employees solve problems, their ability to work as a team, and their emotional intelligence. Hard skills only get you so far; I believe it’s the ability to work well with others that will take you further than anything.

When interviewing, search for soft skills in your candidates. How do they handle conflict resolution? What’s their level of emotional intelligence? Do they have a friendly, positive attitude that could add to the productivity of the workplace? Hands-on skills are always admirable, but what’s even more courageous are employees who are pragmatic and rational.

3. Don’t micromanage.

How do you expect to build an honest relationship with your team if you don’t show them you trust them first? As the person in charge, it’s up to you to set an example for how you want your business run, and the last way you want to do this is by micromanaging your employees.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. If you hired someone, there’s likely a good reason why. You didn’t bring them on board so you could look over their shoulder and pick on every little thing they do. This is the fastest way to lose a solid relationship with others, and team members are no different.

Harvard Business Review suggests carefully giving up control so your employees can shine on their own and show you what they bring to the company. This doesn’t mean giving up your role as the manager but slowly and incrementally letting them take on more work on their own without you telling them what to do. It’s natural that employees will make mistakes — it’s how you react to them that matters.

Stay positive and remember that these things happen in every business. If you handle it calmly and maturely, your employees will appreciate that and feel more comfortable reciprocating an honest relationship back.

Over to you.

Building a trustworthy relationship with your team starts with you as the leader. It’s important to bring positivity and trust to the workplace every day because your employees will follow that behavior. The more trusted they feel, the likelier they’ll perform better. It all starts with you. How will you cultivate an honest relationship with your team?

Chris Christoff is the co-founder of MonsterInsights, the leading WordPress plugin for Google Analytics.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

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