How to Build Trust as a New Manager


Build Trust as a New Manager
How important do you think it is to build trust as a new manager?  We have asked tens of thousands of employees what they want most from their new manager over the years.  What would you guess is the number one priority for new managers to be set up for success?

  • Establishing their newly earned authority?
  • Setting a clear strategy for their team?
  • Clarifying roles and responsibilities?
  • Defining cultural norms?
  • Aligning systems and processes?
  • Sucking up to their boss?

From the research on what matters most, the answer is none of the above.  High performing new managers are excellent at building trust with their team, their boss, and their peers.

Why the Ability to Build Trust as a New Manager Matters
Studies have been done not only on the importance of trust for a well-functioning team, but also on what factors are key to a trusting relationship between a team and their manager.  It comes down to three basic components.

To build trust as a new manager (or for all leaders for that matter), focus on:

1. Treating Your Team with Empathy and Integrity
The foundational component of building trust is all about interpersonal relationships. Employees most trust managers who care about them on both a personal and professional level.  They need to know that, yes, business results matter but that concern for them matters too.  They look to a manager who will treat them fairly and will offer constructive feedback because trusted managers genuinely want their employees to succeed.

Do your managers treat their people as their most important asset?

2. Knowing What You Are Doing
While the first tip focuses on character, this tip is all about competence. To be trusted as a people manager, your team needs to believe that you have enough knowledge, experience, expertise and judgment to lead them to success.  Character by itself is not enough to build trust at work.

Do your managers have the competencies required to lead?

3. Doing What You Say You Will Do
Trusting relationships depend on reliability and consistency. How can you trust someone who never or inconsistently follows through?  Managers need to be visible role models of accountability for their team and must consistently behave the way they want their employees to behave.

Are you managers setting the right example?

What Matters Most for New Managers
We know that the level of trust in a manager relates powerfully to a manager’s effectiveness and we can agree with the three major components of that trust.  What’s surprising is that these three elements are not equal in value.  By far the most critical ingredient of trust in a manager is the first – the strength of the interpersonal relationships with their employees.

The Bottom Line
New managers take on their position with so many concerns about how to succeed.  What they need to know is that their first priority should be to establish trust with their new team members by getting to know them and genuinely caring about their success as individuals.

To learn more about to build trust as a new manager, download 29 Research-backed Ways to Build Trust


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