Hiring new employees is a time consuming and often frustrating—but necessary—part of management.
Assimilating new people into your team, however, can be even harder.
Building trust with new team members is a common struggle for managers. After all, most people think of trust as something that is earned. It doesn’t just happen overnight; it takes time to establish. And it’s a two-way street. As a manager, you want to trust your employee but it can be hard when the person is brand new. At the same time, you want them to trust you—and they have their own hesitations.
So how do you help inspire trust with new employees? Here are some tips to help ease the process.
Start with Trust
Don’t go into this with the attitude that your trust has to be won. Instead, trust that you’ve made a good hire and have faith that your new employee will be up to the task. Instead of making them prove themselves, start with the belief that they are already a proven asset. This simple mindset shift will come through in your interactions with the person. Your confidence in the new hire will help your new hire have confidence in himself.
Show Your Support
To gain your new employee’s trust, demonstrate your support by being approachable. Ask questions to better understand his or her perspective. Listen to them and give guidance where needed. Explain how you operate and what you need from them. The more clearly you can establish expectations on the front end, the more secure your new hire will feel.
Remember that new employees almost always feel like a fish out of water for the first few weeks or even months, so check in with them often to show you’re invested in helping them acclimate.
Help Them Achieve a Small Win
While you want to start with trust, you also have to recognize that new employees are not going to be fully up to speed the moment they arrive. Don’t throw them in the deep end of the pool and expect them to swim. Instead, help them achieve a small win as quickly as possible.
Give your new hire a chance to tackle something relatively easy. Let them take the reins and see how they do. Keeping this project small requires less of a leap of faith on your end and helps the new hire slowly test the waters. If all goes well, your employee will feel a fantastic boost of confidence (in both themselves and in you) and your trust will be solidified a little deeper.
Give Them Opportunities for Bigger Wins
Once your new hire has a small win under his or her belt, look for opportunities to help them achieve bigger wins. Again, there’s no need to toss everything at them at once, but slowly introduce more complicated and consequential projects. Continue to make yourself available as a resource, but give them some space to find their own way. With each victory, the mutual trust between you will grow.
Give Them Some Leeway
Recognize that new hires have a lot to learn in the early days. Even when they have ample experience and qualifications, there are many things they simply won’t know. Consequently, they may make some mistakes as they’re learning the ropes.
Don’t allow one misstep to break your trust entirely. Address it, help resolve it, and use it as a teaching moment. When handled appropriately on both sides, these kinds of issues can actually improve trust down the road.
There’s no doubt that trust is one of the most crucial components for a strong employee/manager relationship. As the leader in this partnership, it’s your job to help pave the way. Keep these strategies in mind as you forge the path, and you’ll set your entire team up for success.