Building trust with employees is an essential part of an HR professional’s job. In this video tutorial, human resources professional consultant and trainer Catherine Mattice explains the importance of building positive relationships in an organization. She covers the four behaviors that can build trust: consistency, fairness, availability and involving employees.
- Being in the position of HR can put you in the uncomfortable position of representing two sides, both of which you care about. And that can place a strain on your ability to build positive relationships. But you need positive relationships to be an effective HR manager. To make things even tougher, because many of your responsibilities involve confidential information, employees may get the feeling you're a secret keeper. And because you deal with negative things, like discipline and termination, some might think you are a dangerous person to get too close to. But the truth is, you have to build trust with everyone you interact with.
The more they trust you, the more they will know you are always doing what's best, even when they don't agree with it. You don't want people questioning your motives. You want them to trust that you can, will, and are doing the right thing. In my experience in HR, there are four behaviors that will help you earn the trust you need to be an effective HR manager. The first is consistency in everything you do. HR matters are rarely black and white, because there are so many factors involved. And one answer will never fit all solutions. Through all the gray areas, be as consistent as you can.
If one employee is reprimanded for acting like a bully, then anyone who acts that way must also be. If a manager wants you to bend the rules for one of their favorite employees, the answer is no, because you'd have to bend the rules for everyone. Further, if you continually change your stance on some issue, or your core values change depending on who you're talking to, then people will learn you are not reliable. You have to remain consistent, as consistently as you can. Second, always be fair. You're a person, and that means you'll likely find yourself building closer relationships with some over others.
Those people may come to you with gossip or personal issues as a friend, and in those situations you must explain that while you want to be supportive, you can't play favorites. Third, you have to be available to the staff and managers. That means you have to make time for people who show up in your office. You have to be an active listener who gives your full attention, makes eye contact, asks questions, and paraphrases to ensure you heard it right. People should leave meetings with you knowing that they got your full attention and your empathy, and that you will be consistent and fair in your next move.
Finally, involve employees as much as you can when things you're doing affect their well being. For example, conducting surveys to learn about job satisfaction, and then soliciting their help for ideas on how to increase job satisfaction, makes a difference. Obviously they can't be involved in everything you do, but when it makes sense, seek their input. In the end, trust is based on perception, and perceptions continually change. As employees and managers observe you in meetings and conversations, read your emails, and find out what you stand for, their perceptions of you will change slightly all throughout the day.
Follow the steps I provided, be mindful of how you communicate, and you should be just fine.
HR consultant Catherine Mattice outlines some of the considerations of the human resources professional, such as balancing the needs of employees with the interests of the organization. She reveals how to conduct an HR audit to identify HR practices that need improvement. She then outlines core HR responsibilities: staffing, training, documentation, compensation and benefits, performance reviews, job descriptions, compliance with state and federal regulations, and more.
- Building trust with employees
- Conducting an HR audit
- Classifying employees
- Setting up compensation and benefits
- Creating and enforcing company policies
- Writing job descriptions
- Recruiting, interviewing, and hiring new employees
- Managing employee performance
- Training employees
- Disciplining employees