Trust is vital in the workplace. Organisations that foster a strong culture of trust among their employees are often the ones that succeed. Trust opens doors to opportunities and helps employees grow and evolve faster and at a sustainable rate compared to their peers.
There are many ways and methods in which organisations can foster trust within their organisation. However, the key department that bridges this gap with the organisation and employees is HR. Without trust in HR teams, employee experience are likely to suffer. Employees are less likely to approach HR with their issues and keep their problems to themselves. For employees to feel like they are valued in the organisation and to build rapport and trust, it is imperative for the HR team to build a trusting culture and create an environment where employees feel encouraged to turn to their HR team for any issues.
Here are some ways in which HR can foster trust with their employees
Ensure open communication to employees
The lack of communication between employees and HR can create a sense of disconnection with employees. When there is no open communication between HR and employees, this can create a lot of distrust and finger-pointing when issues crop up.
To improve communication with employees, HR should clearly communicate corporate policies, practices and strategies in a manner that employees can easily understand. HR should also be clear about communicating what the organisation expects from the employees and what employees can also expect from the organisation and its leaders. HR can also consider introducing feedback channels for employees to voice their opinions and concerns anonymously or hold quarterly communication sessions to share any updates or changes within the organisation.
Foster fairness and inclusivity in the workplace
Organisations that uphold fairness and inclusivity in the workplace are often in a better position to build trust with their employees. They are also typically perceived as a better employer to jobseekers and employees.
There are various ways in which HR can build a fair and inclusive workplace. And it should start by ensuring a fair hiring process. Ensuring a bias-free hiring process sends a message to potential candidates that there is no discrimination in the workplace. Likewise, HR also needs to ensure that employees are being paid equitably and fairly in the market. This may mean conducting annual benchmarking exercises to ensure that the organisation is paying employees competitively. It is also key for HR to be familiar with local employment laws to ensure that they are able to manage employees’ issues and complaints in a fair and effective manner.
Be transparent with employees
Transparency with employees is the key to building trust with them. It ensures alignment and builds a sense of empowerment among employees. Transparency could mean sharing pay ranges with employees to foster a sense of equity. It could also mean sharing key business decisions openly with employees. Being transparent to employees could also mean sharing growth plans, admitting to mistakes and inviting questions from employees.
Consider employees’ wellbeing
Each employee lifecycle within the organisation is unique. Hence, it is important for HR to be cognizant of the life stages that each employee goes through with them – be it going for maternity leave, taking a sabbatical break or getting retrenched from the company. HR can build trust with employees by paying more attention to employees’ wellbeing. It need not mean unnecessarily on cost perks and benefits, but essentially creating an environment where employees feel cared for. These may be simple things such as creating open communication channels for employees, scheduling regular check-ins, or listening to employees’ pain points and taking action on them.
Building trust with employees is crucial to the success of the organisation. And HR plays a major role in helping to foster that culture of trust in the workplace. Open communication, transparency, and fairness are just some of the recipes to building trust with employees. Ultimately, it has to be a continuous process to ensure that employees are constantly engaged. That way, trust among employees and within the organisation can be sustained.