Without trust, your team will never produce their best work, and as a result lower company morale and employee retention rates occur. Trust is essential to an efficient and successful business. But how do you establish trust? It’s the same as in any other relationship: with time and effort. In this article, we’ll go over proven ways to establish a strong sense of trust throughout your workplace.

Trust. It’s the foundation of every relationship, whether personal or professional. Without trust, it will be difficult – if not impossible – for the relationship to grow and develop. We all know this to be true when it comes to our friends, spouse, children, and parents, but many people forget how important this is from the hours of nine to five.

The unfortunate truth is that less than half of the people employed today trust the leadership at their company. In fact, team members are much more likely to trust their peers than they are their managers. With this being the case, how can you expect your people to produce their best work and remain loyal to the company?

Another oversight that many people make is confusing trusting their leaders with their leaders. Someone might get along great with their boss, but enjoying a person’s company is not the same thing as finding them competent or approachable – especially when it comes to work-related topics.

Countless studies show that trust is integral for innovation and productivity. Why? When team members trust one another, they are far more likely to share their thoughts and ideas – some of which could be real difference makers. Trust at work is also directly correlated to higher levels of efficiency and workplace morale.

As with any relationship, trust needs to be earned. Luckily, there are things that you can start doing, which have been proven to begin the trust-building process. These include admitting your mistakes, asking others for feedback, sharing your rationale for management decisions, and encouraging development in team members.

Essentially, all of these things come down to effective and transparent communication. It also means that you need to place your trust in others if you want to receive trust in return. Remember that manager-employee relationships are a two-way street. While you may be first and foremost concerned with your bottom line, your employees are thinking about their career paths and professional opportunities. You need to be invested in these things as well if you expect them to produce their best work for you.

Mutual respect is key to building trust. Keep in mind that this takes time and is built by many small interactions, not just a couple grand gestures. And remember that as long as it takes to develop trust within your company, it can disappear in an instant – so don’t take it for granted.