In all of the economic turmoil in which we find ourselves within the post-pandemic world of hiring crises and labor shortages, nothing can seem more tenuous than our national employer-employee relationship. An environment that has historically rewarded exploitation has created a culture of mistrust. But the numbers are clear: if you can create a work environment where the employees feel safe and valued, they will be far more productive and trustworthy.
Keep Them Updated About Important Matters
Communication really is the key to any good relationship. If employees are being kept in the dark during times of difficult transition, at best they feel forgotten. At worst, they feel that missing a piece of crucial information has put them at bodily risk. Of course, you can’t always give all information to all employees; common sense and data privacy must always be maintained. But at the end of the day, you only really stand to gain from employees being informed of important goings-on that affect them, whether directly or indirectly.
Protect Employees From Harm
This one won’t just tear down trust between you and your employees, but it will leave you open to lawsuits that can devastate you financially! Never make a shortcut to save time or costs when training hires on safety or when providing safety measures. That really should be your priority as an employer. Obviously, the details of what that looks like will vary wildly depending on what your business is and what your employees need to do. Carefully evaluate the risks and think of what you can do to preemptively protect your workers, even if it’s a low-risk position. With high-risk positions, be thorough. PPE is the last line of defense, so you should still take measures to eliminate risks entirely.
Listening and Communication
Just as it is important for you to communicate with your employees about important developments, it is essential that you become the kind of employer people can feel comfortable being honest with. Look for opportunities to listen. If needed, ask employees to meet individually in order to gauge their genuine state of being. Ask their opinions on the work environment and what they would change if they could. Be adaptable; if an employee sees that you took their complaint or suggestion seriously, they will become infinitely more likely to trust you.
Achieving a work environment like the one described here would be a feat. But it would undoubtedly put your business on a level far above the standard! Cultivating trust between you and your employees, though difficult, is always worth the time and effort. Always remember, doing the right thing for your employees will always be doing the right thing for your business.