If you can’t earn your staff’s trust and they dread coming to work, then you can’t possibly get the best out of your workforce. JOY LEE talks to PKT’s Michael Tio about managing people.

IT takes a lot of courage to ask others to trust you. And PKT Logistics Group CEO Datuk Michael Tio believes he has lived a fine enough example to ask others, particularly those who work with him, to do so.

Being able to earn your employees’ trust is a sign of positive affirmation from your own staff. This, Tio stresses, says a lot about an employer.

Employee trust, he explains, plays an important role in staff retainment and in ensuring that they give their best to the company.

Walking your talk is one sure way to earn people’s trust because they would then know that you always do what you say, says Tio.

But building trust also entails building relationships.

People trust you because they know you, says Tio.

“When people are not motivated to work for you, you need to ask yourself what is wrong,” states Tio.

According to Tio, he does his best to maintain a good relationship with his employees. Simple gestures like remembering staff name, whether they are key managers or office cleaners, go a long way in building relationships.

“We try to meet those who are having problems to see how we can help them. Take the initiative to help them settle their problems. If they are bothered by their problems, they can’t concentrate on their work.

“Don’t close your eyes to their problems. They are building the company for you,” he says.

Tio also makes it a point to set an example for his employees to follow, be it in the way he conducts his business or in the way he manages his relationship with his employees so that the task of building trust and relationships becomes not his job alone but a culture in PKT.

However, Tio emphasises that efforts to build good rapport must be genuine.

“Make sure your management culture is genuine. You must take the lead. Your second-line managers will also pick it up and pass it down. Show that you are passionate about what you are doing. And take the initiative to train them to do the same.

“You cannot pretend to be passionate or compassionate. You need to be genuine. People know when you are not genuine,” he says.

Respect people and avoid politicking in the office, adds Tio, to encourage good relationships at the workplace.

Tio is serious about keeping staff happy by getting to know them and cultivating trust. He thinks he has been able to accomplish that at PKT.

“It’s not a company that people dread to work in. If you can build a company that everyone wants to work in, why not?” asks Tio.