Outrageous Things Managers do to Destroy Trust in the Workplace

Building trust in the workplace is very important

Building trust in the workplace is extremely hard, but to destroy it is outrageously easy. It is so difficult for individuals to work together without having a trusting relationship. That’s why teamwork often fails in many workplaces because team members can’t work as a team.

Trust in the Workplace    


Trust is essential for any manager who wants to build a healthy relationship with the team.

Unfortunately, many managers are not transparent and trustworthy. They only care about chasing their narrow interests to the detriment of the people they manage.

There are lots of managers out there that lie always, and most times they snoop on their staff.

If you want to understand how to trust in the workplace is destroyed by managers, look below.  But I warn you that, you may notice yourself here;

1.  You promise to reward your staff with a bonus and then backtrack on it with some vague rhetoric.

2.  You say one thing and do another – keeping your staff on their toes by being inconsistent and unpredictable.

3.  You always using jargon and cliches like “think outside the box” – these words do not make any sense other than confusing your team.

4. Do not believe in transparency – you hide vital information knowing that without it people cannot do their job as expected.

5.  You make vague demands and then wait until completed to change your mind.    

6.  You request that people must work faster – meaning they have to run around, and later you accuse them of breaching the work safety rules. 

7.  Put someone in the team to be your nodding stooge – to keep you informed of what other staff members say about you, behind your back. You even want to know who they talk to on their phones.

8.  Keep making mistakes, and then look for scapegoats or choose to cover up, also when your staff knows that you’ve done it.

9.  Follow your employees around, checking everywhere they are going, whether it is the washrooms, toilets, and cloakrooms.

10.  You always stare at your team members’ computer screens to see what they are up to – as well as timing how much time they spend on their breaks. 

11.  Ask your staff to make decisions, yet you keep lurking behind their backs because you want to know everything before they can decide on anything.

12. During one-on-one meetings or feedback sessions, you ask people to turn off their phones, for fear of getting recorded when you are telling lies.

Another related article here: How To Say Goodbye To Bad Management

 Destroying Trust in the Workplace

It is the lies, deception, manipulation, and lack of transparency in the workplace, that destroys trust between a manager and staff members.

That’s why employees who work for this type of manager just come to do whatever is there and then go home. There is no real motivation to go the extra mile to improve performance. They just do not care.

From my experience of leading people, the absence of trust between a manager and the employees creates an environment full of suspicion and prevents any form of teamwork.

No one trusts a manager who is; insecure, not transparent, telling lies and always snooping on employees. In this type of environment, employees cannot even show their distrust publicly, for fear of getting in trouble.

But, a manager cannot ignore the people concerns, especially if you engage in trust destroying activities like, spying, lying, and or making empty promises.

Building Trust with Employees

Fortunately, building trust in the workplace after destroying it is possible. But it is a grinding process, which can take longer and involves a lot of hard work.

The sooner you do it, the better. Open all the communication channels so that your staff can start to say and hear what they want.

Your staff members invariably have many probing questions regarding issues like performance, rumors, opinions, and perceptions – they need answers. So, provide the solutions, and they must be accurate answers.

Delegation Builds Trust in the Workplace

Delegating autonomy is one of the strategies for building trust with employees. A manager can rebuild a shattered trusting relationship with staff members by delegating some responsibilities.

Before you delegate you to need to create a learning environment for staff members to succeed – you do not want them to fail.

But, delegating the right way is a tough thing to do. It requires some special skills, for example, understanding the abilities and limitations of your staff members.

One of the best ways to learn your staff members’ abilities is to engage in some sort of reverse coaching. In a reverse coaching relationship, a manager and member of staff, learn from each other and share information.

The goal is for you to learn new ways of thinking, and be able to see situations from different angles. You do not have to be thinking like “I have seen it all” – because you are the manager, it is only members of your staff that need to learn from you. That is wrong! They have had a lot of useful knowledge you need – you have to learn from them, as they learn from you.

Read also: Things You Didn’t Know About Teamwork In The Workplace

Spend a day, weeks, or months shadowing each other. Learn as much as you can from them. Then, let them learn what they need from you to become self-managing individuals.

Every self-managing individual you can have in the team is a leader in their rights. You want self-managing individuals who can function independently with or without your support.

Give them the autonomy and responsibility to direct, coordinate, and improve their work.

Build trust in the workplace by letting your team members;

1. plan, schedule and organize their own work

2. appraise individual members regarding poor performances

3. deal with the team’s minor disciplinary issues

4. identify their training needs and organize team development activities

5. provide some input in the selection of new team members

6. express their ideas, feelings, and opinions freely, no matter unusual or extreme

Those are some of the ways to build workplace trust. Now, you step back and focus on developing good relationships further. Talk to your staff on a regular basis, and it does not matter about what. Just talk about anything, and get to know them better.

How do you build trust in the workplace?  Please leave your thought in the comments box below.

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