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#1 Sign You’re A Bad Manager: You Don’t Trust Your Team

July 23, 2015

Rodney, where were your yesterday?”

“Were you trying to get hold of me?”

“No, I just noticed you were away from your desk for 4 hours.”

“So, you weren’t looking for me?”

“No, I just don’t think you can be effective away from your desk.”

Interesting, my manager expressed his complete trust in me. She seemed genuinely surprised that I viewed her question as a trust issue.

Isn’t your job as a manager to keep your people effective? Isn’t it your job to keep your team on task?


Is it your job to manager their day to day tasks?

Possibly. Certain jobs require direct supervision. Those jobs mean that the manager is watching the employees. In those cases, watching your employees day to day work isn’t a lack of trust. It’s being an effective manager.

Other jobs, most jobs in my opinion, require employees work at least somewhat independently. In those cases, monitoring your employees that closely will make them think you don’t trust them.

Jared worked for a computer company. He worked for home as a programmer. He got paid by the job, not the hour. At one point his employer decided it would be a good idea to install a keyboard logger on each employees computer.

They wanted to ensure that their employees were working. They didn’t understand why their employees would see this as a lack of trust.

If you have done nothing wrong what do you have to fear, right?


Trust is earned, it’s not given.

So, why should you trust your employees until they’ve proved their are worthy of it?

Because you hired them. You trusted them when you hired them, didn’t you? If you didn’t trust them when you hired them, you shouldn’t have hired them.

Until they show you they don’t deserve your trust, you should trust them. And if you trust them, you owe it to them to treat them like you do.

It’s not only rude to micro-manage your employees and check up on them when there’s not reason to, it’s also an extreme lack of trust. If you want your employees to trust YOU, you have to earn it. It takes a long time to earn trust and only a single instance to lose it.

If you want your employees to trust you, trust them. If you trust them, treat them like you do.

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