Whether your organization is small or large, trust is vital for its success. It benefits the employees, management, and the business’ overall performance.
But building trust in the workplace can be difficult, and once mistrust in the workplace exists, it can be hard to break old habits and put new behaviors in place to remedy the situation.
While employees may initially feel reluctant to trust HR with their problems, the HR team is in a unique position that can allow them to listen to their issues. They can build a relationship that will encourage greater trust between employees and management.
Developing trust in the workplace can contribute to a happy workforce and, ultimately, a more successful organization.
Why is the HR team in a solid position to build trust?
HR acts as a liaison between the employer and their employees, and their training and experience give them a better chance of creating a successful plan for building trust in the workplace.
Strong communication skills
HR has the training and experience required to be able to address issues of trust. Open communication between HR and employees can help HR to gain employees’ trust, so that they feel more able to discuss their concerns.
The HR team can communicate company policies and practices in a straightforward way so that everyone understands the company’s expectations. And having HR present at staff meetings will allow them to listen to employees’ opinions and concerns, demonstrating that they are being taken seriously.
The importance of transparency
HR teams understand the importance of transparency and how it can encourage employees to share their concerns more freely.
Employees have experienced tremendous change in the last few years, and HR teams have had to deal with different situations and new responsibilities. HR specialists know that being open about the challenges faced by the organization is a great way to encourage staff to share their issues and collaborate on ways to resolve them.
A familiar face
When there is a problem with trust in a workplace, confidence in senior management is often among the key issues. But the HR team tends to be viewed as ‘one of us’ rather than ‘one of them’ because they help resolve problems for the general workforce.
So, if employees find it hard to trust senior management’s communications, HR can act as an intermediary between the two. They can convey important messages in a way that is more acceptable to employees and encourage better interaction between workers and management.
Employing an external consultant to resolve employee trust issues requires them to learn the corporate culture before creating trust in the workplace. The staff might be wary of outsiders and more reluctant to share information or take their suggestions on board.
The HR team will already have been working with the employees to resolve other HR issues, which makes them a familiar entity. So, they will already have built a certain level of trust, which makes it easier to create new behaviors and develop a culture that values trust and respect in the workplace.
Confidentiality and discretion
Confidentiality and discretion are vital to the HR team, which deals with large amounts of personal data on a day-to-day basis.
Employees may already be used to discussing sensitive issues with HR and feel assured they won’t betray their confidence. This assurance puts the HR team in a position of trust and gives them an advantage over external consultants.
Building trust in the workplace can be a daunting task, especially in larger organizations where there can be a disconnect between workers and management. But the internal HR team can be in a solid position to improve relations within the company and help to build a culture of trust in the workplace.