The 5 Pillars of Trust

5 pillars

The existence of TRUST is vital to the success of any relationship, whether it be a friendship, a loving partner or the relationship you have with your children.

It is also true that the quality of your workplace relationships is directly related to the trust you have developed.

It cannot be overstated how important it is for any leader or manager to foster trust. You will not achieve appropriate levels of team engagement and employee commitment without it. Trust is so essential to your success that if you feel ineffective in this area, my advice to you is to STOP EVERYTHING ELSE AND GET GOOD AT IT!

Follow my 5 Pillars of Trust


Think about the ‘vision’ you have determined for your business. Is there a stated ‘culture’ in your workplace? What are the standards you have established for customer service and workplace orderliness? Always act in accordance with the standards you set out for others. Team members will develop faith in you when they see that you are committed to the mindsets, processes and systems of your business.



This is a big one. How can anyone be expected to trust in someone when they fail to keep their promises? The minute you make a commitment to an employee, whether it be an assurance of future training, or simply keeping to a certain time-frame  in a staff meeting,  they will be looking to see whether or not you are trustworthy. You must keep to your word. If the situation plays out that you are forced to break a promise, then be open and discuss this with the employee/s. You can still establish trust under these circumstances, as long as you take appropriate action.



If you are an owner or manager of people, step up to the responsibility that you hold. Be mindful that people are ‘at your mercy’ in that YOU are the one who  creates and fosters the environment in which others are expected to perform. Ensure you generate an atmosphere that encourages, supports and cares for each and every team member.


Many times new policies need to be introduced, staff performances to be assessed and sensitive issues discussed. Distinguish the difference between situations that can be taken care of via emails and phone-calls, and those that are more sensitive and are best handled one-on-one. Show up when staff need you.  Provide them with the opportunity to question, clarify and discuss issues that affect their environment.



Research studies show that employees would rather a consistently aggressive manager, over one who is only spasmodically great. People trust in the consistency of your behaviour. Commit to managing your team to a standard, and then perform to this standard at every opportunity. Any erratic behaviour on your part will definitely damage your chances of building trusting relationships.

People don’t trust your words, they trust your actions!