Life Hack: Trusting Your Small Business’s Employees

Written by: PeopleKeep Team
Originally published on April 27, 2015. Last updated February 6, 2018.


You may not know it, but you might be a small business owner with trust issues when it comes to your employees. You must be thinking, “No, not me. I fully trust my employees.” And while this is true for some employers, there are plenty out there that feel they do trust their employees, but deep down they do no not. 

So, today we’re going to give you an extremely helpful life hack. We’re going to show you not only how to trust your employees, but how it will improve your small business’s productivity by leaps and bounds.

Small Business Owner Life Hack - To Trust or Not to Trust?

Trust will either be part one of the biggest parts of your small business’s success, or it will be the nail in the coffin. Did you know that nearly one in four employees say they don’t trust their employer? This is a problem. It’s imperative that you trust your employees and that they trust in you and their colleagues. So, the question is, trust your employees and reap the benefits or do not trust?

Before you decide whether or not to trust your employees, let’s quickly talk about a few pitfalls you may be able to relate to:

Scenario 1: You often ask your employees to do something, but then check up on them frequently to make sure the task is being executed correctly.

Scenario 2: You would rather take hold of a large project to make sure it’s done exactly right even though your assistant is capable of completing the project.

Scenario 3: You are constantly suspicious of your employees. You feel they are usually not using their time correctly.

Any of these sound familiar? If so, keep reading to know how to start trusting your employees and start reaping the benefits of trust.

Related: Do Employees Trust their Employer? (And Does this Matter?) [Study]

Small Business Owner Life Hack - How to Trust Your Employees

You’ve identified that you could trust your employees a little bit more, but what now? It’s time to learn how to trust your employees. Here are two exercises to help you start exercising trust.

Exercise 1: Give an employee or a few employees a task to complete. Tell them that you trust their judgement and leave them to complete the task. Ask them to inform you when they are done or if they have roadblocks they need assistance with. Then, allow them to explain why they executed the task in the manner they did. Offer guidance and constructive feedback, but be understanding and do not be over-critical. By applauding their efforts and giving  them support, you’ll foster trust and accountability.

Exercise 2: Hold a meeting with your employees. Tell them of a certain problem the company is facing and, as a team, come up with solutions. Assign a handful of your employees to carry out the solution. You can take part in the solution as well, but leave the larger parts to your employees. See what they can do and allow them to demonstrate their skills and knowledge.

Related: 6 Ways Small Business Human Resources Can Gain Employee Trust

Small Business Owner Life Hack - Reap the Benefits of Trust

After you’ve gone through trust exercises with your employees, it’s time to reap the benefits. Here are three key advantages of trust in your employees:

Less stress: Less stress means more productivity. When you trust your employees, you can delegate daunting tasks to take some of the load off of your shoulders. Furthermore, when your employees trust one another, daily tasks and challenges are solved in unity. Your small business will grow closer together.  

Customer trust: When there’s trust in your small business, customers will see it and in return, trust you and your employees. Customers are good at sensing contention or when there isn’t harmony in a business. Plus, seeing trust in a business will inspire your customers to keep coming back because they feel comfortable.

Spreading the word: Wait, free advertising? Yep. When employees and customers see a high level of trust in your small business, they’re more likely to speak highly of your company and stick around. They’ll spread the word and do a lot of your advertising for you. You’ll gain new customers and your attrition rates will be much higher.

Related: Need New Customers? Try These Amazing Life Hacks


Let’s be honest here -- you can’t afford to lose trust in your employees. Trust is the key to your small business’s ability to succeed. When you trust your employees, they trust each other as well. And when trust exists in the workplace, your employees are likely to stick around longer, be less stressed, and work harder. Plus, your customers will see your company’s level of trust. When your employees trust you, it’s not a matter of if you succeed, it’s when. We hope our small business life hack will allow you to gain the trust you and your employees need to become a trusted, exciting small business in your community.

What questions do you have about gaining trust in your employees? Let’s start a discussion below.


Topics: Small Business
Originally published on April 27, 2015. Last updated February 6, 2018.


Additional Resources

View All Resources