Do your employees and clients really trust you and your firm to get the job done? In many cases, the survival of a business depends on the positive relationships cultivated among fellow employees as well as clients. The importance of trust cannot be undervalued. You might be a competent leader; however, you usually won’t get very far in your business if your team and your clients don’t trust you.
When engineering firms take the initiative to foster relationships built on trust, it has been shown that employees are better able to focus on their work, which ultimately leads to higher productivity and gives you and your business a competitive advantage. It also builds a stronger connection with your clients, who are more apt to recommend your business to others and become repeat clients.
On the flip side, when there are challenges with trust issues, productivity and employee morale tend to decline and there is often higher turnover among employees. This can also lead to poor relationships with clients, who may seek to hire other firms they can depend on to get the job done.
Any successful relationship, whether personal or professional, is built on trust. Here are five ways to build trust in your engineering company with employees and clients:
Consistent actions and behaviors help set the foundation to build an all-star engineering team, so they have a clear understanding of the expectations of the organization. It is one of the foundations of building a solid business. Follow through on your promises whether that’s with your team or your clients. Remember that people pay attention to your actions just as much, or even more so, than what you say.
Give credit to others and involve your employees
Those who praise others are seen as gracious. Recognize your employee’s achievements, whether that’s during a team meeting or one-on-one. This helps build trust and respect and creates a welcoming environment among your workers as well as for existing and potential clients.
Be truthful and admit when you’re wrong
Be true to your word. Honesty and integrity are among the most important components of trust. By keeping your promises and taking responsibility for your words and actions, it will build a stronger bond with your employees as well as give you credibility with clients. Above all, avoid office gossip at all costs. It can be toxic to your organization and the employees.
Lead by example
Model the behavior you seek in your employees. Watch what you say while listening to the team and being supportive. For clients, make them aware that you are taking the lead on the project and have a plan of action to get it finished on time and within their budget. Build trust with your clients by demonstrating how you are a strong leader who commits to following through with a project.
Encourage employees to share their ideas and be willing to do the same. When individuals are encouraged to share ideas in an open environment, it often leads to out-of-the-box thinking. In regard to clients, make sure to keep them up-to-date on projects, so they are in the loop. If a problem arises, rather than skirting around the issue or being tentative about letting them know the status, build trust with them by telling them know how you are going to address the challenge. They will respect you in the long run and know that you have their back.
Building trust with your team can often take time and patience. It’s often a complicated and slow process, but the ultimate payoff is great. Those who trust their supervisors, stay at the same job for a longer period of time and are usually more motivated and engaged in what they are doing. At the same time, clients who trust the engineering company they hire, are usually more satisfied with the work completed and will be part of your cheering squad in the future.
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Stacey Phillips is a writer and editor at iConnectEngineers™. At iConnectEngineers™, we use engaging content, creative design, and smart campaigns to bridge the worlds of business, marketing and social innovation with a primary focus on the engineering and technology industries.