Fostering Trust: Building a Culture of Openness and Collaboration

Demonstrating trust in your employee’s is more important than most people realise. And it can be something that’s relatively easy to implement (and doesn’t cost you any money!).

If you want the culture of your business to be one:

Where your employees feel secure in their jobs

Are comfortable voicing their opinions or ideas

Feel valued, empowered and supported ….  

…. you need to make sure you, and all your managers are ticking these critical boxes:


Ask and listen.

It’s standard practice to hold performance reviews and finish it with the “is there anything else you want to add?” line. Usually though by this point, your poor employee is sat frazzled, drowning in KPI stats and looking to bolt towards the door ASAP.  So what if you DIDN’T wait until then to ask how things were going? What if it was part of the working week to invite feedback on a regular basis, providing a safe place to do so? Perhaps a weekly email (can be anonymous if people prefer!) that asks how the week has been? Not everyone feels comfortable speaking out in groups or even one to one as it can feel confrontational.

And whilst asking is a huge step towards making people feel heard, it’s even more important to actually listen.  Not just “Oh, they’re complaining about this again but sure it’ll die down soon…” . Instead, try “hmm, this subject keeps cropping up, lets acknowledge it and share a plan of action to resolve it” (and then make sure that plan takes place!)


Trust them first

There’s nothing quite like leading by example and when it comes to trusting your employee’s, this is a great way to start. We’ve heard stories of having to copy a manager in to every single email you send, tracking devices being placed on computers to monitor keystrokes and general all round intense micro management. If you’ve chosen to offer remote working positions then regular communication with your employee is the way to make sure that everyone is working to their expected level and iron out any issues rather than sneaky tactics to try and catch them out.

If there is no need for concern with an employee, don’t treat them as though they’re not doing their job. There may be occasions where intervention is needed with certain people not pulling their weight but on the whole, if you start off with a level playing field of trust and don’t  make people “prove themselves”, you’ll be on to a winner when it comes to loyalty and productivity.


Forge positive relationships

Create safe spaces, open channels of communication and outwardly show your appreciation for your staff. Promote inclusivity across the board, continue to educate yourself and ALL employee’s on the importance of being their authentic selves.

Support employee’s through life’s changes and challenges because every single one of them will have one at some point. Let them know you’re there for them.

Champion part time and flexible working, shout from the rooftops about how brilliant your staff are and promote/give payrises and bonuses, don’t wait for your best employees to say they’re going to leave before you do.  That’s way too late and the trust has already broken down and is usually irreconcilable.


Be consistent and keep to your word

Your employees need to know what to expect from you. If you say you’re going to follow up on a point they’re raised, make sure you do. If you’re inconsistent in your actions, employee’s start to feel like there’s no point in talking to you and trust breaks down.

If you’re a manager, you MUST be discreet with any confidential issues your staff may approach you with. Regardless of your friendships with other people in the business, you have a duty of care to your staff to ensure anything that they discuss with you remains protected and professional. Failure to do that can not only lead to a huge loss of trust and respect but could also land you in hot water legally..

Trusting your employee’s is a sure fire way of building up long term and lasting working partnerships but sadly it’s often a reason cited as a reason to leave a job.

If you’re looking for a new job or struggling to recruit and you’re in the corporate travel or travel technology sector, don’t hesitate to get in touch with either one of us, Caroline or Emma for a chat about how we can help. With over 20 years of recruiting experience in this sector, we’re best placed to offer you guidance, advice and hopefully a new career or employee!

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