One of the reasons why it is tough for a non-dev employer to trust his / her dev employees is that in most cases the non-dev is totally in the dark about the day to day developments in the product building phase. To a non-dev, nothing less than a feature addition or a product launch strikes a note. And it is tough to launch a feature every day to prove one's work for the day!
The best way to bridge this trust gap is by having a frictionless process where the non-dev is kept upto date on even the tiniest of milestones. In my personal experience (I am a non-dev) this is best achieved with Pivotal and Github integrated with Campfire.
To give a broad idea, Campfire is a private group-chat tool that helps you carry on discussions with your team. We use Propane, the desktop client for Campfire. Pivotal is a tool that helps you as a team decide on deliverables. Here, deliverables are broken down to small estimated pieces called stories and these stories are decided for fixed lengths of time called iterations. An iteration is typically a week. Github is your code repository.
How do all these make a non-dev happy? When Pivotal and Github are integrated with Campfire, all the code commits in Github and the stories that are delivered in pivotal are reflected as a continuous stream in the Campfire chatroom like this
What better way for a non-dev to get a hang of the activity in the dev team! This has really helped me feel a part of the development process and gauge progress. Do you have a better process? Would love to know your thoughts.