In most discussions about workplace dynamics, the spotlight is often on how organisational leaders should engage with their regular employees. However, it’s essential to recognise that the relationship between the employees and the leadership of the organisation isn’t a one-way street. In fact, it’s equally important for employees to work on building trust and gaining the confidence of their leaders, even if they are not their immediate superiors.
Employees who earn the confidence of organisational leaders position themselves as valuable assets not only within their teams but also within the larger corporate structure. This recognition and visibility prove invaluable during challenging times, such as mass layoffs or retrenchment efforts.
In such situations, leaders often seek advice and insights from trusted colleagues to make tough decisions. If employees have established credibility and strong relationships with these leaders, they’re better positioned to provide valuable inputs and protect their interests.
“First and foremost, ensuring that tasks are executed effectively is fundamental. However, relevance is key; being in tune with the organisation’s goals and actively contributing to problem-solving is equally vital”
Rajorshi Ganguly, president and global HR head, Alkem Laboratories
Rajorshi Ganguly, president and global HR head, Alkem Laboratories, opines that while performing the job and thinking innovatively is a good start, employees aiming to win the confidence of organisational leaders need to go beyond these basics.
According to him, “First and foremost, ensuring that tasks are executed effectively is fundamental. However, relevance is key; being in tune with the organisation’s goals and actively contributing to problem-solving is equally vital.”
The perception that leaders should earn the trust of their employees is valid, but it’s equally important for employees to cultivate confidence in front of organisational leaders. Beyond thinking innovatively and performing assigned tasks, there are some critical steps that employees can take.
Ganesh Chandan V, CHRO, Tata Projects, explains that demonstrating ownership and accountability is paramount in building this trust and confidence. When employees consistently deliver on their commitments and meet their goals, it establishes trust, confidence and credibility within the organisation. “This is what we refer to as the ’credibility ratio’. Leadership places high value on a ‘dependable’ team — one that is reliable and unwavering in its commitment to organisational values. Building and maintaining credibility is essential for fostering a healthy and robust trust relationship between employees and leaders,” shares Chandan.
When employees take the initiative to go beyond their prescribed duties, explore innovative solutions, and consistently seek ways to enhance processes and outcomes, they demonstrate a proactive and engaged approach to their work. This willingness to step outside the comfort zone and take ownership of their role shows leaders that they are not merely following orders but actively contributing to the company’s progress.
“Leadership places high value on a ‘dependable’ team — one that is reliable and unwavering in its commitment to organisational values. Building and maintaining credibility is essential for fostering a healthy and robust trust relationship between employees and leaders”
Ganesh Chandan V, CHRO, Tata Projects
Amit Chincholikar, global CHRO, Yokohama Off-Highway Tires, shares, “Initiative is all about one’s willingness to step outside the comfort zone, try new approaches and consistently seek ways to improve the status quo. It’s a proactive attitude that demonstrates employee engagement and commitment to not just doing a job but making things better. When employees show initiative, it signifies their dedication to constant improvement and their ability to think innovatively.”
Employee commitment is the cornerstone in building confidence among organisational leaders. When employees demonstrate unwavering dedication to their work and the company’s goals, it sends a powerful message to the leaders. Commitment is not solely measured by the number of hours worked, but by the depth of engagement, the quality of contributions and the passion for achieving excellence.
Leaders appreciate and trust employees who exhibit a strong commitment to the organisation’s success, as it reflects a genuine alignment with the company’s mission and a willingness to go the extra mile.
Chincholikar agrees that commitment goes way beyond the number of hours the employees put into their work.“Employee commitment is reflected in their ability to bring well-thought-out ideas and solutions to the table. Leaders value employees who are committed to delivering the best results and who are willing to invest their time and effort to achieving excellence.”
“Employee commitment is reflected in their ability to bring well-thought-out ideas and solutions to the table. Leaders value employees who are committed to delivering the best results and who are willing to invest their time and effort to achieving excellence”
Amit Chincholikar, global CHRO, Yokohama Off-Highway Tires
Consistency and reliability
Consistency and reliability in the performance of employees are key attributes that are significant in building confidence and trust with organisational leaders. The predictability in the team members’ performance reassures leaders of their dependability. After all, they can be relied on to accomplish tasks and goals effectively.
Positivity and hunger for learning
Chincholikar draws our attention to how attitude plays a pivotal role in building trust. Employees’ positivity can influence the energy and morale of the team and workplace. A positive attitude can not only enhance the relationships with colleagues but also inspire confidence in the organisation’s leaders. Additionally, a thirst for learning and a desire to continually improve one’s skills and knowledge are valuable traits. Leaders appreciate employees who demonstrate a genuine interest in personal and professional growth.
“The ability to simplify complex issues instead of overcomplicating them is a valued skill,” points out Ganguly. He goes on to explain, “Leaders begin to trust employees who take initiative and proactively identify and address challenges without constant direction. Ultimately, it’s the ability to get the job done by adapting to changing circumstances, and a combination of all these factors that solidify a leader’s confidence in an employee as the right person for the job.”
The mutual trust and visibility between employees and organisational leaders create a supportive and dynamic work environment. It’s not just about receiving directions from the top but about having a voice that matters and being a dependable and respected contributor within the broader organisational structure.