To be an effective leader, it’s so important for your employees to trust you. Employees who trust their leaders tend to be engaged, happy, and productive. They’re innovative and willing to share new ideas. They feel empowered to provide honest feedback. They’re loyal to their company, and retention tends to be high.

In contrast, a lack of trust can cause employees to feel suspicious, angry, and frustrated. It’s associated with low morale, low productivity, and high turnover.

So do your employees trust you? It can sometimes be hard to tell. After all, it’s not the kind of thing that you can just ask people. If there’s a lack of trust, you’re not likely to get an honest response.

But according to author Dom Price, there are certain behaviors that indicate whether a trusting relationship exists. Here are a few things to ask yourself:

  • Do your employees ever say “no” to you? If they do, that’s actually a good thing! They trust you enough to give you an honest response. If you never hear the word “no,” it may be because your employees don’t feel like they can be open and straightforward with you.
  • Do you admit to making mistakes? If so, that’s a good thing. You’re demonstrating to everyone on your team that it’s OK to make an honest mistake and it’s important to learn from them (rather than trying to hide them). If you admit to your own mistakes, your employees will realize that they can trust you to talk about their own missteps.
  • Is company and project information readily available? Secrecy can result in feelings of distrust, false rumors, and misunderstandings. People feel positive, invested, and engaged when information is shared openly and freely.
  • Do people give each other feedback regularly? Do you and your employees talk to each other about your projects honestly and frequently? Is it a part of everyday life in the office? If so, it indicates that your employees feel like it’s safe to openly voice their opinions.
  • Are you easily accessible? Can your employees talk to you easily? Or do they have to jump through hoops and “go through channels” in order to talk to you one-on-one? The more accessible you are, the more likely your employees will be to speak to you freely and trust you with their ideas.


Price, D. (2018, January 9). 10 ways to tell if your employees actually trust you as a leader. Inc. Retrieved from