CEO Spotlight

CEO Spotlight: How to Build Trust in the Work Environment with CEO Nate Mell

There are multiple factors to building a successful and ethical business, and developing trust in the work environment is one of those factors. Establishing trust in the workspace benefits all levels of a company and decreases many issues an untrustworthy climate can pose. Building trust in a work atmosphere is a process- excellent starting points and beginning goals are practicing healthy communication and proactive coordination between upper management and employees. 

As Nate Mell would say, “Trust in the workplace is what makes the day-to-day stresses of running a business healthily manageable.” Mell is the CEO of a ceramic design and manufacturing studio in Kensington, Philadelphia, called Felt+Fat. Mell extends job opportunities to people who have a hard time finding a job, like previously incarcerated individuals, so a trustworthy work environment is necessary to function properly. Reflecting on his own experience, Mell explains how to build trust in the workplace successfully. 

Understand What Trust is

Business leaders can build trust in the workplace by first understanding what trust looks like and how to apply it in the workplace. There are two types of trust: practical trust and emotional trust

Practical trust is seen as the more traditional idea of trust out of the two. Exercising valuable trust in the workplace will help prevent unhealthy management such as micromanagement. This type of trust includes an all-around work environment that trusts its employees to show up to work on time, execute tasks, meet deadlines, and maintain reliability. 

The other type of trust is known as emotional trust. An example of emotional trust would be the trust shared between two friends. That kind of trust gives people the assurance that others have their best interest in mind and exercises respect from both sides. When establishing emotional trust in the workplace, the result is employees will feel more respected, listen generously, create a strong bond, and enhance networking skills. 

Practice Honesty

“I find practicing honesty with my employees only makes me a better human,” said Nate Mell. Honesty in the workplace opens the door to developing healthier relationships that last longer. When someone gets caught by another employee in a lie, it becomes a quick way to destroy trust at work.

Be Quick to Listen

As the saying goes, there is a reason why humans have two ears and one mouth. Upper management can set the bar by practicing listening more than speaking to allow every employee’s feedback and opinions to be heard. Doing so will help generate tremendous respect from employees and a higher level of trust and mutual understanding.  

Create a Culture of Inclusion

No one enjoys feeling left out in a work environment, and exclusion can often lead to the distrust of others. Leaders can create a positive community within the workplace that gives an excellent platform for building trust by forming a culture of inclusion. This kind of culture sparks by practicing gratitude and appreciation, teamwork, and a welcoming spirit. A culture of inclusion also lives out these traits consistently. 

About Nate

Nate Mell is the founder and CEO of Felt+Fat, a ceramic design, and manufacturing studio based in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. In 2013 Nate was asked to design a set of plates for what would become the award-winning restaurant ‘High Street on Market.’ Since then, the Felt and Fat studio and team have grown exponentially through Mell’s leadership to become a go-to manufacturer for design-conscious restaurateurs.

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