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How to Establish Trust Through Workplace Mentoring

August 8, 2022
Jessica Day, Dialpad

So, you want to build a successful and productive workplace? Great – of course, you’re not alone in this goal. But what separates good workplaces from the bad? Some will say having the right resources is the best way forward. Others will prioritise time tracking, focusing on improving work efficiency. 

While these both help, there is an even more important factor in fostering a successful workplace: trust. There’s no point in having the best resources if your employees don’t trust each other, or your organisation. Without trust, group projects won’t run smoothly, and your workplace will lack the space needed for effective dialogue.

In a nutshell, a lack of trust can completely derail an organisation. But what can you do to make sure that this doesn’t happen? Well, implementing a workplace mentoring program is a really good place to start. But first, let’s look at the different types of trust. 

Trust spelt in scrabble tiles
How do you build trust in the workplace?

What are the different types of trust? 

You might be wondering, how do you categorise trust? Believe it or not, there are actually two forms of trust: practical and emotional. Let’s take a closer look...

Practical  trust 

This form of trust requires hard work. If an employee regularly arrives at work on time and puts in a full day’s worth of effort, you’re more likely to trust them. Similarly, if a team leader provides effective and dedicated leadership, their team is more likely to put their faith in them.

Practical trust is essential if you want people to believe that you’ll put actions to your words. 

Emotional  trust

It’s fair to say that practical trust is a little colder and more pragmatic than emotional trust – put simply, practical trust is built from commitment and effort. Emotional trust is slightly different in that it’s developed as employees bond with one another. When emotional trust is strong, they feel more confident about expressing their thoughts and feelings. 

Emotional trust is essential if you want people to believe they can be themselves at work and trust you with their thoughts and feelings.

Which do you need? 

You might have figured it out already, but the answer is that you absolutely need both. Without practical trust, people won’t make the effort to grow your organisation. Without emotional trust, workers won’t have strong enough ties to work together effectively.

But how do you build both practical and emotional trust? Let’s find out! 

A pile of question marks on a blue background
How do you build a culture of trust through mentoring?

How to build a culture of trust with mentoring

Trust won’t come overnight; you’ll need to work towards it. To build a positive working environment, the overall culture of your workplace will need to change.

If you’re unfamiliar with the term, a workplace culture should embody your organisation. A culture of trust is one of openness and transparency, seen in all employees across the entire organisation. 

One great way to do this is to implement a workplace mentoring scheme. This will build both types of trust as employees learn they can rely on one another and have a safe place to discuss their challenges and goals.

Building trust through mentoring 

Mentoring is when an experienced worker shares their experience with a newcomer or ‘mentee’. Mentoring is a practice that is becoming more and more popular in the workplace. This for good reason – it can help employees develop new and valuable skills. 

There are lots of proven benefits to this, including accelerated career growth and boosted levels of engagement.

But despite this, many organisations still don’t have their own mentoring programs. In fact, a recent study found that only 37% of employees have mentors. This is a shame, as mentoring is a great way of building trust between workers.

But what can you do to ensure that your mentoring program boosts trust? 

Focus on providing strong leadership 

You won’t build much trust without strong leadership. Leadership should be central to every mentoring program, as team members need a role model that they can look up to. When selecting mentors, you need to look for the right qualities. The following factors are essential: 

A willingness to listen 👂

Mentoring is about sharing knowledge, but it’s also about listening. Too many mentors forget this and spend too long talking about themselves as a result. If you want mentoring to be the foundation of strong trust, a mentor needs to ensure that the mentee feels heard and is allowed the space to ask questions.

Be ready to admit mistakes 💬

It can take a lot of guts to admit that you’re wrong about something, especially from a position of leadership. But by doing so, a mentor is teaching mentees the important lesson of learning from one’s mistakes, which in turn builds trust. A mentor will appear both relatable and approachable as a result. 

Stick to promises 🤞

One sure-fire way of losing trust is by breaking promises. If a mentor makes a commitment, they should stick to it. This means, for instance, that any discussions held under confidentiality should remain between the mentor and mentee. 

A woman in a yellow top on her laptop
Mentoring is a great way to build trust

Trust is essential 

Put simply, trust is essential for every workplace. Without it, you won’t get anything done. But as we’ve explored here, you’ll need both practical and emotional trust if you’re to succeed. Establishing these won’t always be easy. Just remember, trust begins with simple steps.

If you haven’t already, start planning a mentoring program, this is a great first step in creating a culture of trust; allowing workers to gain both emotional and practical trust. They’ll create stronger bonds by working closely with their mentors. They’ll also learn from high-ranking workers firsthand, inspiring them to work towards progression. 

So, what are you waiting for? Book a chat with our team of mentoring experts today and start building trust through mentoring today!👇

About the author:

Jessica Day, Senior Director, Marketing Strategy, at Dialpad

Jessica Day is the Senior Director for Marketing Strategy at Dialpad, a modern business communications platform that takes every kind of conversation to the next level—turning conversations into opportunities. Jessica is an expert in collaborating with multifunctional teams to execute and optimise marketing efforts, for both company and client campaigns. Jessica has also written for other domains such as Recruitee and Bizmanualz. Find her on LinkedIn.

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