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Building Employee Trust – Wendy Ferguson – BHRLR, CPHR




A Commentary by Wendy Ferguson – BHRLR, CPHR – Ferguson HR Consulting

Trust is one of the essential pillars in any solid relationship.  Simply put, trust means confidence.  The opposite of trust – distrust – means suspicion.  When you trust people, you have confidence in them…in their word, integrity and abilities.  When you distrust people, you are suspicious of them…of their integrity, their personal agenda and their capabilities.  It’s that simple.

If you haven’t established trust with the people who can help you succeed, your business will inevitably falter.  If your employees don’t understand the direction of your business or trust your leadership, it will be impossible to engage or retain them.  Whether you are a CEO or front-line manager, communication with your employees is critical to your success as a leader, and ultimately the wellbeing of the company.  Keeping that in mind, I will share with you five vital principles to help build trust with your staff…

  1. Communicate and Live Your Values – take every opportunity to share the organization’s values and what they mean to you and the company.   Commitment to these values starts at the top, so it is essential that these are embraced and demonstrated regularly and consistently.
  2. Share the Vision and Strategy –  communicate where you are going and how you will get there and do it in simple terms.  Employees need to have a clear understanding of the company’s direction, but also how their work contributes to its success.
  3. Be Open, Honest and Transparent –  employees will recognize honesty (and dishonesty) and this is especially critical in times of crisis or change.  This is when employees need to hear from you most. If you are open, honest and transparent you will build confidence and empower employees through times of uncertainty.
  4. Know Your Staff – e-mail, texts, phone calls or webcasts certainly have their place, but they don’t replace one on one, in-person communication.  Personal contact builds trust and shows that you are personally invested in helping them to apply and develop their strengths and reach their career goals.  Listening to their concerns or issues will show them you value their input.
  5. Sincere Praise – this is last on my list, but in no way is this the least important.  I hear time and time again that employees feel under-appreciated.    Thanking employees, when done sincerely, will go a long way towards building trust.


Trust is reciprocal, so the more you trust someone, the more they will likely trust you.  Trusting someone is definitely risky, but don’t be afraid to put yourself out there in taking the first step to demonstrate trust.  Trusting work environments will foster a healthy workplace and higher levels of productivity.  Contemplate this  ̶  do you feel your colleagues, subordinates or superiors perceive you as trustworthy?  How do you perceive them?   Is there room for improvement?  If so consider the points above.

About Wendy Ferguson

Wendy Ferguson is an Alberta based Human Resources Generalist and Consultant with over 15 years of combined experience in the areas of HR, Business Administrative Management and Marketing.

She has worked within a broad range of industries, including: oil & gas, architecture, law, information technology, engineering, accounting and business consulting firms.  She works with companies on both a full time and part time consulting basis to help them address their HR management, recruitment and policy needs.

She is also a Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR).  CPHRs are uniquely qualified to help you achieve your business goals. With proven expertise across nine key business metrics, a CPHR has the knowledge and the experience to address the factors that underpin the degree of your immediate and long term success.

For your HR requirements contact Wendy at 

Wendy’s Specialties:
HR Management
Employee Relations
Administrative Management
Senior Management HR Advisory
Alberta Employment Standards
Conflict Resolution
Team Building

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