Whether a company is building from the ground up or is looking to strengthen company culture, establishing trust among employees and managers is essential. To create trust and motivation, managers need to make employees feel like they’re a part of the team and integral to the company’s success. We spoke with Logan Chierotti, co-founder and COO of InternetReputation.com about how he established trust with three different companies he founded.
Why is it important for managers and executives to earn the trust of their employees?
To have a good community and a good company, you need to let go of some control and trust that other people are going to do a good job. Those people need to trust that you’re leading them in the right direction and showing them a path with opportunity, otherwise they’re not going to do a serious job. In our company, we try to get people excited and invested in the company and show them our vision where we’re going so they can feel that it’s something they’re a part of, rather than just showing up to a job every day.
How can managers earn employees’ trust?
We have weekly meetings where we try to pump everyone up and get everyone on the same page as a team. One of the biggest things is showing them this is where we are now, this is where we want to be, and this is what we want to do as a company, and engraining that into each and every employee and manager. Managers need to understand that they need to get employees excited about our vision to get them to work hard.
How does transparency play into trust?
Being transparent shows employees what every other person is doing, so we’re not asking them to do anything that anyone else isn’t doing. We provide visibility, so every day everyone can see how many calls their colleagues have done or how many words they’ve typed. It keeps everyone on the same page and shows them they’re not being asked to do something they’re not capable of doing.
I like our managers to have worked in the position that they’re managing. Our sales manager for a good three months worked in the sales team and showed them here’s what I can do and this is what I expect you to do.
How does trust relate to company culture?
It’s one of the most important aspects of creating a positive company culture and building a great company. Without employees that trust you, they’re only going to do a minimal amount of work. At startups or larger companies that want to take it to the next level, you need everyone playing at 110 percent; you need everyone committed and they need to trust that the people that hired them and the people above them are leading them in the right direction.
Companies like Wal-Mart have huge conference meetings with the CEO to get everyone pumped up, and that’s a great example of building trust with their employees. It shows he’s a good leader and he’s taking us in the right direction.
What about employees trusting one another. Is that a manager’s job?
I think that’s part of the role of the manager, to make sure that everyone’s playing on the same team and everyone trusts each other. If you have someone disrupting everyone and causing a lot of friction, it’s the manager’s job to get that person on the same team or get rid of that person because one disruptive employee can cause friction among everyone.
We hired a manager who had many closed door meetings with employees, and with certain employees those meetings would last four or five hours and everyone else would be wondering what’s going on. The manager wasn’t telling the whole team what he was telling one person, which created a lot of distrust. Managers need to get everyone working on the same page, and be transparent with each employee equally.