Workplace Relations – Building Trust at Workplace

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Relations at workplace are different from those that we create and develop in our day to day life. Just like our personal relations, our professional relations are also based on trust, faith, and respect. Both types of relations require investment of time. However, basic differences between our personal and professional relations are as follows:

  1. Relations at workplace are time-bound and can or cannot be permanent or long-term based.
  2. Though based on common vision and focused on similar goals, relations at work-place require one to be competitive and sometimes even compete with one another to stay ahead.
  3. There can only be a possibility of mutual trust, faith and respect and it cannot be one-sided.
  4. People involved in workplace relations should have High Emotional Quotient and should be able to differentiate between personal and professional emotions.

Types of relations that can exist at workplace are:

  • a) Employer-Employee
  • b) Manager-Subordinate (or rather Head – Subordinate)
  • c) Colleagues
  • d) Employee – Internal Service Provider (Finance, HR etc)
  • e) Employee – External agents (Vendors, clients, customers etc)

It has been noted that lack of trust in relations at workplace costs very dearly to the company and the loss cannot be comprehended in figures. Lack of trust prolongs the decision making process. It also complicates the communication process. Trust in relations also affects the motivation and morale of parties involved. Hence, what are those factors that help to build mutual trust between relation at workplace and what factors deteriorates that trust? What is the beginning of that trust? What one should do to keep that trust? What are the remedies when that trust is broken?

Traits and Behaviors that affect the trust

Trust is the building block for gaining the admiration of your employees, building positive work relationships within your team and enabling staff to handle stress and uncertainty in the work environment. It may be tempting for new managers to believe that trust will grow naturally toward their leadership; however, effective managers don’t take trust for granted. Trust is something that is given or earned not demanded. I’ve noticed that companies that talk about trust the most tend to do the least to encourage it.

From my experience, I understand that the following factors play an important role in building trust between two relations at workplace:

  1. Walk the talk and keep your words
  2. Fast, Free and honest communication
  3. Believe in your organization and its vision
  4. Consistency and Reliability
  5. Frequent and Fair feedbacks
  6. Integrity
  7. Believe in talent, knowledge and experience of your team-members and employees
  8. Commitment


Trust determines the quality of the relationship between people. You cannot always manage the trust you experience in your larger organization, but you can act in ways that endorse trust within your instantaneous work environment. When the employer and the employees interact with openness, honesty, tolerances, and respect, they make each other confident and secure. Thus, it will build the trust among the employees in the organization. If trust is not present in a relationship, a large amount of energy is wasted in the form of redundancy and rework.

I am looking forward to get your comments and replies.

Thanks and Regards,

Sanjeev Himachali

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