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Trust is the bedrock of any relationship, business or personal.

Building trust takes time and yet you can lose it in a moment, never to fully regain it again.

Without trust between you and your employees, your company is on shaky ground.

building trust

Do you trust your employees?

Think hard before you answer that, because your actions speak louder than your words.

You can say you trust your employees.  You can infer trust by the position and responsibilities you give them.  But if you don’t truly trust them, you will be working against yourself and your business.

If you have an employee that you don’t truly trust, you need to do both of you a favor and fire them.  That may sound drastic, and you may end up running your business by yourself, but without trust in your staff, your organization is is teetering on collapse and you’ll be buried in the rubble.  Why?  Because:

  • Lack of trust stifles growth and innovation
  • Lack of trust creates a toxic company culture
  • Lack of trust encourages untrustworthy behavior
  • Lack of trust inhibits productivity

If you don’t trust your employees, why?  Is it them, or is it you?

I worked with a business owner who was skeptical and mistrusting of every employee who worked for them.  They questioned every action, every word, every report, every decision.  They were certain that every employee was out to cheat them and deceive them.  They doubted their abilities, hovered over their shoulder in micromanagement mania, and made their employees miserable.

[Maybe they had been burnt by employees in the past, maybe they had issues of mistrust from their personal relationships that carried over into their business, maybe it was just a part of their personality to be overly skeptical of everyone.]

When I saw this kind of behavior (and it’s more common than you think) I asked, “Why don’t you get rid of them?”  They then regaled to me the fine qualities of the person of subject: how qualified, committed, and competent they are; how much they have accomplished for the company.  The next question I asked, “Then why don’t you trust them?”

This second question was met with a look of surprise.  They weren’t aware that their own behavior exposed the truth.

Your employees are your single most important aspect of your business.  It’s not your product, market position, or bottom line.  If you are going to hire competent, qualified, and committed employees (and isn’t that what we all want?), then you need to treat them as such by trusting them to do what you have hired them to do.

Amy Lyman‘s did some research on 100 Best Companies to Work For and here’s what she came up with, “Companies whose employees praise the high levels of trust in their workplace are, in fact, among the highest performers, beating the average annualized returns of the S&P 500 by a factor of three.

If your business has stalled; if you are having a lot of internal conflict in your organization; if your employees seem miserable; it might be time to take a look at your “trust factor”.

[Tweet “As a leader, you set the tone for your organization. If you don’t trust your employees, they won’t trust you.”]

Trust is a process, it takes time to develop.  But trust is also a choice, one that is unique to humans.

If you don’t trust your employees, you should fire them, or maybe you need to fire yourself.

What about you?

Do you trust your employees?

Do they trust you?

Have you ever worked for an organization with a bad “trust factor”?  What was that like?


Tenaya (T.J.) Tison is a business leader and entrepreneur who is passionate about propelling others in their work & faith potential, by strategically directing them in business + work; and in full-faith living. Find out what T.J. does here. Follow T.J. on Twitter. Invite TJ to speak.