Posted by: healingtheworkplace | April 19, 2008

Building Trust in the Workplace

Trust is the glue that keeps the workplace focused, energized and moving forward. Without trust relationships will not develop and without relationships there will be no teamwork.

Trust is fragile and can easily be broken. In today’s rapidly changing workplace I don’t think enough attention is given to the importance of trust.

Trust has to be earned. It can’t be mandated or negotiated.

James Kouzes and Larry Pozner note, “Before people will be willing to follow a leader’s vision or act on a leader’s initiative, they must trust their leader. This trust cannot be demanded. Leaders must earn it”.

A lack of trust in the workplace can also increase stress and may result in  staff turnover. When trust is absent workers will not be engaged with their work or with the organization. 

A 2006 Gallup report found that “business units with actively disengaged workers experience 30 – 50 % more turnover than those with engaged employees and those employees annually miss more work”.

What can you do to build trust at work?

Dennis S. Reina and Michelle L. Reina are the authors of the book Building Trusting Relationships at Work. Their book is well researched and contains a ‘four capacity trust scale’ and a framework to use when your organization is going through change.

Reina and Reina suggest the following seven steps for Healing from Betrayal:

  1. Observe and acknowledge what has happened
  2. Allow employee’s feelings to surface
  3. Give employees support
  4. Reframe the experience
  5. Take responsibility
  6. Forgive
  7. Let go and move on





  1. good work i love it

  2. Thanks for providing the steps to overcome betrayal and rebuild trust. Another simple way is to motivate employees not to speculate at work and focus on the facts rather than opinions. I hope the story helps. – Erich

    • Hi Erich, you are right about sticking to the facts and not assuming anything. This is the foundation of good conflict management and necessary if we are to have good working relationships. Cheers, Lesley

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: