Happy team

Strong connections between supervisors and their direct reports create win-win-win outcomes. Numerous studies have shown that managers are one of the most important drivers of an employee’s job satisfaction and engagement, which correlate positively with organizational performance metrics including customer satisfaction, profitability and shareholder returns. 

The studies reveal a win-win scenario for personnel and employers when relational trust is prioritized. Yet, one demographic often overlooked in these evaluations is the people leaders themselves, who also stand to benefit. 

4 Positive Impacts for Managers 

When team leaders and their direct reports connect with and rely on one another, it opens new possibilities such as: 

  • Increased Support 
  • Improved Well-being 
  • Amplified Productivity 
  • Reduced Turnover 

Increased Support 

Supervisors have much (in many cases too much) to do in a typical workday. When conviction is high, it helps to reduce some of that workload because they can feel comfortable with delegating. Even better, when people ask for help, instead of simply directing an employee to do something, oxytocin increases in the brain. This chemical further stimulates feelings of trust and cooperation, all while helping to relieve some of the load! 

Improved Well-being 

Helping one another with tasks is a great step towards reducing stress and burnout in the workplace. When supervisors rely on their employees and vice versa, it also boosts wellness in other ways. Team leaders and staff who have trusting relationships are typically more honest with each other, more willing to open up about the challenges they are experiencing and more inclined to give one another the benefit of the doubt when issues arise. Transparency helps managers and direct reports to better support one another’s well-being. 

Amplified Productivity 

Assurance facilitates autonomy. If staff members are entrusted to accomplish their day-to-day work, they are better able to move forward with their tasks without constantly checking in. Similarly, managers can focus on other initiatives without feeling the need to have significant oversight of any one person’s work. Being able to work independently to advance initiatives improves productivity for people leaders and individual contributors. 

Reduced Turnover 

Much has been said about the impact managers have on retention rates, with reports citing that 50% of employees quit their boss, rather than their job. Turnover directly impacts the team lead, who will likely need to engage in interviews as well as onboard and train a new hire. So, it certainly pays dividends to build strong connections that inspire long-term commitment. Additionally, loyalty is a two-way street. When supervisors believe in their people, they are more likely to be dedicated to their direct reports and want to stay on board themselves, enhancing overall retention. 

4 Ways to Positively Influence Trust 

Developing assurance takes time, so it may seem challenging to create these strong relationships in today’s workplace. Employees at all levels are often asked to accomplish a great deal, which can limit the amount of time they may dedicate to trust building. Also, many organizations are now operating in remote or hybrid environments, so managers as well as their staff may not be familiar with how to effectively create connections with limited face time.  

While obstacles may be present, there are many ways that supervisors and direct reports in any workplace may strengthen conviction by using small steps to boost belief.  

#1 – Communicate Clearly and Often 

While managers may need to establish common platforms for communication, every member of the group can put this recommendation into practice. Setting expectations around how the whole team will keep each other informed of progress on tasks and challenges impeding their success as well as providing insight into one another’s availability or appointments during the day will increase confidence.  

#2 – Show Appreciation 

Recognition boosts trust and engagement for the entire workforce. Create space for teammates to celebrate one another publicly and privately whether through meetings, chat channels or one-to-one settings. Making appreciation part of the group’s regular practices will enhance connection and make it clear that team leaders and members care about one another’s success.  

#3 – Be Authentic 

Before a person can rely on someone else, they need to understand who that individual is. Learning about one another’s interests, strengths as well as values empowers direct reports and supervisors to have confidence in each other. Making an effort to regularly ask questions about one another’s lives and learn about the different ways colleagues prefer to think, behave and approach their work creates a foundation to build toward greater authenticity. 

#4 – Learn Together 

Ongoing training and development helps managers and their teams strengthen trust in one another because these initiatives often take people outside of their comfort zones. When individuals learn new things or practice different ways of working, it allows all attendees to experience something different together, which encourages risk-taking and vulnerability while also improving the group’s capabilities. These initiatives may be larger scale – like a formal workshop – or small scale, such as reacting to industry news in a meeting. 

While cultivating conviction will not happen overnight, small actions will empower managers to stimulate a high-trust environment for their staff. When these practices extend beyond individual supervisors and permeate the entire organization, even greater innovation and productivity will flourish. For more ideas on tactics that team leaders as well as executives, Human Resources and Learning & Development professionals can employ to promote confidence inside their organizations, I encourage you to download our latest guide! 

HIgh-Trust Organization Guidebook

Emergenetics can help you establish the foundation for a high-trust climate. Speak with our team members today to discover how our programs inspire a positive, productive and understanding workplace culture. 

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