5 Traits of Trustworthy Startup Founders

During the early stages of startup development, there are a number of hurdles founders have to jump. Not only are there long hours and endless challenges, but also you have to build a strong team that can carry your business to success.

When it comes to having a successful startup, founders and managers need to build trusting relationships with their employees. In fact, a recent APA survey revealed a fourth of employees don’t trust their employers, which is why it’s important to make trust the No. 1 priority for your startup.

Here are five qualities that mold startup founders into trustworthy leaders:

1. Follow through with your vision.

A unified vision builds trust because it ensures every employee is on the same page.

In the beginning stages of your startup, the vision you communicate to employees will pave the path for your team’s success. By communicating your vision, employees will understand why you make decisions and how those decisions impact the startup.

Following through with your vision also builds trust because it creates accountability. If employees see your commitment to your vision for the startup, they’ll trust your decisions and feel committed to the business, too.

2. Be honest and upfront with employees.

Not only do employees need to be accountable for their actions, but the founder and managers of the startup must be accountable, too.

Employees realize there are some things founders cannot share with them. However, if you’ve been grooming one of your employees to take over the startup without announcing your decision, this could create a lot of distrust in your business. This is why it’s important for startup founders to be completely transparent with their employees.

3. Value fairness.

Startup founders must value fairness in order to build a trustworthy culture. As you continue to build your startup, there are going to be a number of different opportunities for your employees. For example, make sure you give your employees the equal opportunities to get involved with projects and share their ideas.

It’s also important to listen to your employees. Startup life can have crazy schedules and hectic challenges. The best way to overcome these obstacles is if everyone is treated fairly and has the opportunity to communicate their needs to management.

4. Recognize your employees’ contributions.

The APA survey also revealed employees are more likely to trust their managers if they are recognized for their accomplishments and contributions to the startup.

Employee engagement relies heavily on being recognized for making a difference in the organization. Employees who feel valued by the startup are more likely to share their ideas, contribute more to the big picture, and feel happier at work.

5. Listen more.

Even though you are in charge of the startup, your employees are the ones who’ve made your vision come to life. If employees have an idea or suggestion for your product, make sure you open your ears. Your employees have valuable insight to share, so make sure they know their feedback is welcomed.

Building trust within a startup is essential to creating success. The more trust you create between yourself and your employees, the easier it’ll be to accomplish goals and get more contribution from your employees.

What traits do you think are important for trustworthy startup founders to have?

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Written by:
Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010). Find Heather on Google+.
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