One of the most challenging aspects of coaching your employees is not the coaching process itself, but gaining their trust. Trust is a very nebulous and ambiguous concept because it isn’t something tangible. However, if a culture of trust is created in the workplace, it can be tangible. One of the best statements that I’ve ever heard about trust was the following: If people trust your intent, they will accept your content. Here are eight suggestions you can use to build trust when coaching your employees:
- Schedule meetings to recognize, reward and invest in the goods things that your employees do. Don’t just set-up meetings when you have issues with your employees or to reprimand.
- Communicate your employee’s improvement or positive impact to upper level management.
- Send your employee a card or even go the extra mile and send them a book or information about a hobby or a topic that they are interested in.
- Ask your top performers to coach other employees and provide positive feedback to them as this gives them a taste of leadership.
- Admit your mistakes to your employees as this will help them feel more comfortable with you and more approachable as their leader.
- Always tell the truth even when you know it is not something they want to hear. Another great comment I heard about honesty was: If you tell the truth, you never have to remember what you said to someone.
- Ask questions to receive feedback from employees and share with them how you will use the feedback.
- Follow through and keep your promises with your employees even if they seem like small things to you. This will show that you are dependable and that you do what you say you are going to do.
Building trust takes time and continues to be supported by things you do and say over time. Trust lays the groundwork to build a coaching relationship. Gaining your employees' trust will keep them engaged, motivated and more willing to stay with the company.