How To Build Trust In The Workplace – 10 Proficient Ways

Written By Aleena

How to build trust in the workplace seems like a challenging question. However, it is not. There are several proficient ways to build trust in a workplace.

What will I learn?

Trust is the key to any good working relationship. It is the foundation of respect, and it allows us to feel safe in our dealings with others.

10 Ways To Build Trust In The Workplace

Trust must be earned, and it cannot be given lightly.

There must be a mutual understanding and agreement between two parties for trust to exist.

The following are some ways to build trust in the workplace:

1. Competency:

The first way to build trust in a workplace is through competency.

When employees are competent in their roles, they build trust with colleagues.

How To Build Trust In The Workplace

Competency is when an individual can do their job and produce results. 

Being competent means having the necessary skills and knowledge to do one’s job well.

Likewise, individuals who are competent in their roles build trust. They are capable and reliable.

Some ways to boost competency in a workplace are through:

– Providing employees with the necessary training and development

– Creating clear job descriptions

– Hiring individuals who are a good fit for the role

– Promoting individuals who are competent in their roles

2. Communication:

Communication builds trust in any relationship, whether personal or professional.

It is vital to ensure that everyone is on the same page in the workplace. And they are working towards the same goal. 

Moreover, communication also allows individuals to express their needs and concerns.

Some ways to improve communication in a workplace are:

– Schedule regular check-ins with employees

– Have an open-door policy

– Encourage employees to share their ideas and concerns

– Be clear and concise when communicating

Some great communication tools can be:

– Zoom

– Google Hangouts

– Slack

3. Consistency:

Another way to build trust in the workplace is through consistency.

This means that employers need to be consistent in their words and actions.

For example:

An employer tells their employees that they value them. Here, the employer should also take action to show that they love their employees. This shows consistency.

Some ways to be consistent in the workplace are:

– Following through on promises

– Meeting deadlines

Being fair with employees

– Keeping your word

4. Respect:

Respect is a fundamental way to build trust in the workplace.

How To Build Trust In The Workplace

Respectful workplaces are more likely to be trusting because employees feel valued. Valued employees tend to be more engaged and productive.

Some ways to show respect in the workplace are:

– Listening to employees

– Avoiding gossip

– Giving credit where it is due

– Being open to different points of view

5 Openness:

Openness means being honest and transparent in the workplace.

When employers are open with their employees, it builds trust. Openness also allows for two-way communication, which is essential for trust-building.

Some ways to be open in the workplace are:

– Sharing important information

– Asking for employee input

Encouraging feedback

– Being approachable

Such activities build trust as they show that the employer is honest and upfront.

Openness in the workplace is essential to having a positive work environment.

6. Cooperation:

Building trust through cooperation has a lot to do with teamwork.

In a workplace, employees need to work together cooperatively.

When employees are cooperative, it builds trust. It shows that they are willing to work together for the common good. 

Some ways to encourage cooperation in a workplace are:

– Encouraging team building activities

– Creating company values that promote cooperation

– Recognizing cooperative employees

– Promoting a collaborative work environment

7. Fairness:

Treating all employees fairly and without discrimination is vital.

Fairness in workplace diminishes any root of discrimination. And thus, any form of harassment.

Furthermore, fairness also fosters a creative and inclusive work environment.

Some ways to be fair in the workplace are:

– Being consistent with rules

– Providing equal opportunities

– Avoiding nepotism

– Promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace

8. Recognition:

Giving employees recognition is a great way to build trust. When employees feel appreciated, they are more likely to improve their performance.

How To Build Trust In The Workplace

Recognition can in many forms, such as:

– Verbal recognition

– Written recognition


– Bonuses, etc.

Through recognition, employers build a culture of trust and appreciation.

9. Empathy:

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person.

When employers show empathy towards their employees, it builds trust.

Employees feel appreciated and valued when their employer understands them.

Some ways to show empathy in the workplace are:

– Listening to employees

– Asking questions

– Avoiding judgment

– Seeking to understand before being understood

10. Supportive:

When employers are supportive, it shows that they care about their employees.

In a supportive workplace, employees feel like they have someone to rely on. Thus, they focus more on performance than other problems.

Some ways employers can be supportive are:

– Providing resources

– Offering guidance

– Being available

– Creating a positive work environment

Support can be in many forms, such as:

– Physical support

– Emotional support

– Mental support

– Financial support, etc.

When you support an employee, you give way to trust and dependability.

Lack Of Trust In A Workplace

Trust is an essential part of any relationship. In a workplace, trust is crucial. A lack of trust can lead to:

1. Low Employee Morale:

When trust is low, employees are less engaged. They do not feel motivated to work and may even leave the company.

Morale is important for a company as it impacts productivity.


Low morale can lead to a decrease in productivity which can be detrimental to a business.

Therefore, employers need to build trust in the workplace.

2. High Employee Turnover:

A lack of trust can also lead to a high employee turnover.

Employees may leave the company in search of a better work environment.

This can be costly as training new employees take time and money.

Turnover intention is high in places where employees do not feel valued.

Therefore, employers must focus on building trust to reduce employee turnover.

3. Poor Performance:

Trust is also important for performance. When employees do not trust their employer, they are less likely to perform well.

This is because employees need to feel supported to do their best work.

If employees do not trust their employer, they may not be willing to take risks or be creative.

4. Lack Of Cooperation:

A lack of trust causes a lack of cooperation. Employees may not be willing to work together because they do not trust each other.

This can lead to decreased productivity as employees are not working together efficiently.

Teamwork is not possible without trust. Team reliability and trustworthiness are essential for team success.

5. Increased Stress:

A lack of trust can also lead to increased stress. Employees may feel like they are constantly walking on eggshells.

They may worry about what their employer will do or say next.

This can lead to a decrease in productivity as employees cannot focus on their work.

6. Miscommunication:

When there is a lack of trust, there is also a lack of communication.

Employees may not feel comfortable communicating with their employer. This can lead to miscommunication and a loss of productivity.

Employees feel comfortable communicating with employers. Therefore, employers should promote a trustworthy environment.

7. Conflict:

A lack of trust can also lead to conflict. When employees are not happy, they may take their frustration out on each other.


Conflict also arises when there is a lack of communication.

For instance:

If an employer decides without consulting their employees, it can lead to conflict.

Employers need to avoid conflict by building trust in the workplace.

8. High Absenteeism:

When employees do not trust their employer, they may be more likely to be absent from work.

This is because they do not feel motivated to come to work.

High absenteeism can lead to poor profits as fewer employees are available to work.

9. Low Engagement:

Employees show low engagement with work when they do not trust their employer.

Engaged employees are essential for a company as they are more productive.

Less employee engagement is the root cause of most business problems.

Employers need to focus on building trust so that employees feel engaged with their work.

10. Poor Customer Service:

Employees who are not happy at the workplace do not care about the customers.

Therefore, they do not provide good customer service. This can lead to a loss of customers and a decrease in profits.

Happy, motivated, trusting employees give better customer care services.

Types Of Trust

What type of trust exists between employees? Refer below to find out.

The following are the different types of trust:

1. Cognitive Trust:

Cognitive trust has basis on the knowledge and experience of the other person. Cognition is the ability to think and reason.

This trust takes time to grow as people learn more about each other.

Its basis is the belief that the other person is competent and will make good decisions.

For instance, if an employee has worked with their employer for many years, they may trust them more.

2. Affective Trust:

Affective trust has basis on emotions. It fosters when employees feel positive feelings towards their employer.

Positive emotions include happiness, love, and satisfaction.

Affective trust is crucial as it can lead to more cooperative and productive employees.

For instance, if an employee feels respected by their employer, they will try to reciprocate.

3. Behavioral Trust:

Behavioral trust has basis on the actions of the other person. It is when employees see that their employer is behaving in a trustworthy manner.


Behavior affects how employees think and feel about their employer.

Therefore, employers need to behave to build trust.

For instance:

If an employer keeps their promises, employees will want to discuss things with them more.

4. Organizational Trust:

Organizational trust has basis on the organizational structure. Employees feeling that the organization is fair and just build this type of trust.

The structure of every organization is different. The structural way of an organization can affect how much trust employees have.

For instance:

Employees may trust their employer more if an organization has a flat structure.

If employees get equal treatment, they may trust the organization more.

5. Leadership Trust:

Leadership trust has basis on the leader. It is when employees feel that their leader is trustworthy.

Good leadership induces a feeling of trust in their followers. 

This is because followers believe that leaders can make good decisions.

For instance:

If employees feel that their leader is competent, they may rely on their decisions.

Human Relations And Trust

Trust and human relations have a vast history.

Adam Smith:

Adam Smith is the father of economics. He wrote The Wealth of Nations in 1776.

He focused on the importance of human relations in . In the book, he argued that people are likely to cooperate when they have strong relationships.

Smith’s ideas about human relations and trust are still relevant today.

Where there are humans, there will always be a need for trust.


Sociology is the study of human social behavior. It focuses on the relationships between people.

There are many social theories about trust and humans. People are more likely to trust people who are similar to them.

human relations

Likewise, people are more likely to trust people who have expertise.

Moreover, people trust people who have power.

These social theories about trust can help employers build trust in the workplace.


Psychology is the study of human behavior. It focuses on why people do what they do.

There are many psychological theories about trust and humans.

People trust people who are honest and have integrity.

People also trust those who are competent and have expertise.

Moreover, people are more likely to trust those who are fair and have power.

Employers with sound knowledge of psychological theories can foster organizational behavior.


Building trust in a workplace is essential for the success of any organization. You can build trust by:

– Creating strong relationships

– Behaving in a trustworthy manner

– Having a sound organizational structure, etc.

You can also build trust by being a competent and fair leader.

You can use social and psychological theories to build trust in your workplace.


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