7 Proven Ways to Grow Connections, Build Trust and Increase Retention in your Workplace

Over 5 years, I did a survey of thousands of attendees to find out what truly builds trust, grows communication and connects us all in the workplace. We sifted through a lot detail, correlated the responses and watched the answers develop in front of our eyes.

One of the many benefits of presenting keynotes at conferences and companies is the wonderful connections I make. I am always humbled and amazed by the passion of attendees, plus their direct, detailed and passionate input. As I pose questions that elicit responses, the minds begin to churn out more information than I could possibly compile alone. It’s one of the reasons that I did the survey. I wanted to collect information from across North America and make it easily digestible.  

Below are 7 things your employees want, demand and need at work. It makes sense that the more you can check off as being a legitimate part of your workplace culture the better equipped your organization is to grow communication, increase productivity and strengthen retention.

In no specific order, they are:

1- Respect.

This one is easy to comprehend. How do you like to be treated? How do you want to be communicated to? Do you like jerks and disrespectful people?

Nope! From micro aggressions, to calling out staff in a negative way in front of their peers to being rude, mean and condescending. Respect made the list because people demand it as a basic part of their job. Failing to do so will strip you of much needed talent. Leaders that show respect to all employees benefit big time.

Grow trust through mentoring and training

2- Mentoring and Training.

Organizations are often lacking in this as it is perceived as non-revenue producing. Employees are clearly stating that they want and need this! The benefits include:

A- Increased leadership path/skills

B- Sharing of information

C- Increased employee retention

D- Happier staff

E- More candidates to promote internally as stats point to a quicker rise in positions, salary and titles.

From conferences to peer-to-peer mentoring, this works and does add to the bottom line by retaining staff, hiring fewer from outside and growing productivity. It’s the advantage we’re looking for!

Grow connections by listening

3- Listen.

This one speaks for itself but allow me to elaborate. Your staff wants you to listen to them and doing so grows trust and productivity. Not doing this creates anger, lowers productivity and will have your employees searching for another job. Yes, it’s that important to listen and one of the key factors I focus on when organizations bring me in for training. Thankfully, we can become better at this, and some leaders need information and direction to help them become better listeners.

Increase trust by thinking about the big picture

4- The Big Picture.

During the pandemic, organizations and management did a good job of sharing the big picture. Now, we’re getting back into our roles, working hard and looking at COVID-19 from the rear-view mirror. The virus is not finished and our dedication to sharing the big picture weekly/monthly should continue. Information leads to ideas and ideas to action. Continuing to allow all employees to see and understand your company’s goals and direction is essential. We became used to it, we relished in knowledge and felt closer as a group so continuing to do this has many benefits.

Grow connections through communication

5- Communicate.

Hand in hand with sharing the big picture, overall communication was available and valuable to your team members during the height of the pandemic. Continuing to openly communicate can grow retention, create closer relationships between individuals and departments and strengthen our corporate culture. From DEI to healthcare, from initiatives outside of work that help your communities, to internal groups that create a culture of happiness. Open communication is essential and if your company does this well, you’ll continue to attract and retain great staff.

Increase retention through positive feedback

6- Positive Feedback.

20+ years leading award-winning sales teams at a Berkshire Hathaway Fortune 500 company taught me a lot. Near the top of the list was positive feedback. Even better, when given in front of others! How do you feel when you receive positive feedback? Right, and so does your staff. You can come up with many reasons to do this and the benefits. There are no drawbacks. So, consider giving more positive feedback. Your staff likes this and feeds off of it in a positive way.

Increase trust through idea and knowledge sharing

7- Information, Ideas and Knowledge Sharing.

So, you’re looking for an advantage. Something that will help your employees, grow productivity and beat out your competition. This IS the secret sauce!

The open sharing of information, ideas and knowledge is craved throughout our workplace, yet some want to hoard it like it’s the winning Powerball ticket. This leads to rumors, lowers productivity and has folks looking at the exit door. However, if we empower our employees and give them the tools to truly thrive, then we begin to create a workplace culture of sharing. This is good — really good! Sharing leads to trust. Trust leads to more conversations even if some are difficult. All of this leads to a better prepared workforce that is able to outperform the competition.

The 7 Proven Ways to Grow Connections, Build Trust and Increase Retention in your Workplace work well on their own. If combined together, the differences are noticeable, palatable and will have a positive impact on your workplace culture and business growth. Remember, this information was gathered over five years. People like you continue to reinforce the importance of each of the 7 ways. Now, you have the information and I hope that you can implement one or all of these ideas.