How to build trust in the workplace

Teams are delicate. Distrust between one member and another can lead to a breakdown in communications among department members and lead to a decrease in productivity. Trust involves reliability and if a coworker believes he or she can’t depend on a team member, they are never going to feel as if they can look to the other person for advice, help or even just to bounce ideas off of. If a team member feels as if he or she must be on guard when dealing with coworkers, there is going to be tension and eventually anger that erodes at the structure of the group. After all, coworkers are spending eight hours or more a day with each other!

Here are a few characteristics of a trustworthy worker:

1) Proven skills and experience. As a staffing and recruiting professional, you’re not going to have a metric meter that measures how trustworthy an individual is, although there are psychometric testing tools that can integrate with your staffing and recruiting software that can give you some idea of a candidate’s trustworthiness. However, that doesn’t mean that the job candidates your clients are going to be looking at are not judged on how reliable they are. After all, reliability and trustworthiness also comes from how much coworkers trust each other to be able to complete a job. A candidate with strong performance that has the necessary experience and skills for the job will inherently be viewed as more trustworthy because their coworkers can depend on the person to get the job done. You’re able to look at candidates’ profiles on your staffing and recruiting software and place a candidate in a job who you believe will bring the necessary skills to the table – playing a large part in building trust in the workplace! A resume is a laundry list of skills and experiences that credit a worker with a certain amount of trustworthiness.

2) Consistency. Does a candidate have a consistent work history? It’s not a clear indicator of whether a worker is able to perform a job at the same excellent level from the beginning of a project to the very end, but a consistent work history or demonstration of keeping busy shows a work ethic. Even if a worker bounces from a number of different positions in different industries, he or she may bring the experiences of each place to the table and prove that the work output is strong every time.

3. Honest non-verbal communication. It’s a common fact that more than half of our communication is nonverbal. The body tells us in a number of ways what a person is like or how they are feeling. Trustworthy people are typically looking others in the eye and comfortable with direct eye contact. In addition, arms are generally left open versus closed to the chest or crossed, which can communicate nerves or being closed off. Legs are also left facing the person, straight down and with feet flat on the floor, if the individual is sitting.

4. Honest representation of self. It’s often not difficult for you as a staffing professional to make sure that a worker’s resume is factually accurate (it’s part of your job!). As you’re reviewing a resume you’re most likely performing a number of fact checking exercises just to ensure that the person who is on paper is the person who is going to be walking into the interview you set up. While embellishing on a resume is hardly uncommon, those bullet points do need to be based on facts! If a worker can’t keep it honest on a resume, they are not likely to stay honest in the workplace and they won’t have the necessary skills for the job.

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