Fear Factor: Why Employees Won’t Speak Up

Open communication is a key factor to have a more productive, efficient and successful business but many employees would much rather keep their concerns or opinion to themselves. So why are employees more inclined to just ignore or neglect to bring light to things that could potentially save time, money and can improve the over efforts of the team or project? Many are quick to say that it all boils down to trust. But, this can often be a tricky area. How can employees trust that their voices or opinions will make a difference if they are constantly shot down? How can it be expected that employees trust management when there is little to no discussion about building trust in the workplace?
There is a lot of attention placed on being more productive and time management that trust is often never associated with these other topics. But, without trust productivity will suffer and time management will be neglect. Without trust, employees are not motivated to give their 100%. How can you as a manager begin to build a more trusting relationship with your employees? It all boils down to how well you listen, take responsibility, confidentiality and the support you give the rest of your employees.

Building Trust by Listening
Make it a point to let your employees know that they can come to you with their concerns, problems or questions. You might want to start off with a simple one on one conversation with one of the more difficult employees. Be sure to actually listen to what they have to say, don’t do all the talking and do so from a more logical perspective, not an emotional one.
Be incredibly mindful at times when you hear something you do not agree with, which will spark a reflex action to voice our own opinions. Instead, stay calm and really focus on hearing what the other person is saying instead of reacting to what they are saying.

Building Trust by Taking Responsibility
It can be easy to throw blame to other departments or even your employees but when you stop to see where you may have failed to share important details or information and own up to that you will see a new respect from your employees. Instead of constantly blaming the rest of the team stand up and take ownership of the areas you know you need to improve upon. When you find yourself starting to pass the blame stop and ask yourself what you can do to improve the situation or circumstances.

Building Trust with Confidentiality
As a leader, you do not want to get caught up in the rumor mill in the office or be the one to pass on misleading information before verifying the facts. You can set an example for the rest of your team by stopping the rumor mills before they spread even further. Instead, go directly to the source to find out the facts. If two employees are feuding, go directly to the person involved separately to gather the facts first. When the employees see you taking this approach they will begin to follow in your footsteps.

Building Trust with Support
The best way you can build trust among your teams is simply by giving them the support and encouragement they need. You want to be supportive of all the employees equally. Give mutual support will gain your mutual trust in return.

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