Trust is an essential component to an efficient workplace. Without trust, you have a group of people showing up for a paycheck but who aren’t truly committed to the mission or each other. However, when you successfully build trust, your team’s overall performance will soar to greater heights, and everyone will truly feel like a team.
Not only does trust increase productivity, but it also leads to creative thinking as team members feel comfortable expressing and exploring their ideas. Trust also fosters a spirit of teamwork and collaboration.
In this post, let’s discuss how to build that much-needed trust within your team, along with why it’s important to do so.
What Does it Mean to Build Trust?
From a management standpoint, building trust means successfully creating a system of dependability within your team. You depend on your team to do the right thing, and they depend on you to do the right thing also.
In order to build trust, both sides must take a risk. You both take a leap of faith that the other party will do the right thing and become a reliable resource.
But as a manager, you take on more risk because building trust requires you to give your team members more freedom. And that means your team will have the freedom to work on their individual tasks as they see fit, or to goof off and disappoint you.
However, it’s so important that you take this risk. As we’ll explore below, building trust within your team will provide immense benefits to your organization. The risk is definitely worth the reward.
Although building trust requires work and vulnerability, it will also lighten your burden as you begin to rightfully depend on your team to accomplish your goals.
How Do You Benefit from Building Trust With Your Team?
Why is it important to build trust with your team? Let’s look at the top benefits you, your team, and your entire organization will gain from developing mutual respect with your team members.
- Increased collaboration
- A more positive mood in the workplace
- A highly motivated team
- A more cohesive team
- Greater dedication to seeing a project through
- A less stressful work environment
- Increased employee retention
- More innovation and creativity
How to Build Trust With Your Team
Now that we’ve explored what it means to build trust and some of the major benefits, let’s look at the practical ways you can start the process.When you successfully build trust within your team, your team’s overall performance will soar to greater heights, and your team will truly feel like a team. Click To Tweet
1. Encourage Your Team Members to Share Honestly With You
Is there a culture of fear in your office?
It’s surprisingly easy to create a fear-based workplace. In this type of workplace, everyone feels pressured to perform and keep quiet. They don’t want to make a misstep and lose their job—which they’ve seen happen to others. They’re also afraid to speak honestly about issues because they either know their feedback won’t be received or they’ll be punished for their honesty.
Fear does not equal trust in the workplace.
Instead of stoking the flames of fear, actively encourage your team to talk to you and share their honest feedback on issues that affect them personally and the organization as a whole. Check your reactions so that you’re not reacting in a way that’s fear-based or dismissive. Don’t take feedback personally. Shift to an objective stance. Understand that you can use their feedback, even if it’s critical, to improve.
2. Be Transparent
Transparency is one of the most important factors to building trust within your team. In every trusted relationship, there is honesty and a two-way exchange of information.
You can expect the same in a professional relationship by being that transparent person first.
Openly share the information that your team needs to know.
Explain your decisions.
Be available when your team needs help or wants further clarification.
3. Be Honest
Transparency and honesty go hand in hand. You can’t be transparent without being honest. Don’t be afraid to admit when you’ve missed the mark. We all make mistakes, but hiding those mistakes can be dishonest. Use every mistake that you make as a teaching opportunity for yourself first and then for your team.
4. Celebrate Your Team
In a toxic office environment, the management never celebrates the accomplishments of their team. However, this environment is quick to assign blame when something goes wrong. That’s not the way to trust.
If you want your team members to trust you, recognize them when they do a good job. And provide coaching and mentorship when you notice that they’re struggling.
Look for reasons to celebrate your team members individually and as a whole. And do it often. When your team feels valued and appreciated by you, they’ll start to respect and trust you to do what’s in their best interest.
5. Don’t Micromanage
When you’re closely watching your team member’s every move, and requiring that they get your direct approval for each step along the way, you’re micromanaging.
And, to your team, micromanagement sends the message that you don’t trust the team.
While it may produce short term success, micromanagement fosters a negative work environment. Creative thinking is stifled. All innovation is stamped out. The team member just becomes an extension of you and is unable to rely on their unique strengths to accomplish the task.
Instead of forcing your team to check in with you at every stop, set expectations, provide bountiful resources, and let go. Trust that you’ve hired the right people to do the job, and let them do it. If they don’t do it, that’s a different conversation. But you won’t benefit from their strengths if you’re constantly controlling every aspect of the job yourself.
Delegate responsibility according to strength and skillset.
Be realistic with your goals.
Make sure that everyone’s clear on the expected outcome.
Remove yourself from the direct management but be available if and when your team needs help.
6. Have Open Dialogue
Encourage your team members to talk openly and honestly with you. Don’t use what they tell you in public or in confidence to harm them.
For example, if your team member tells you that they’re now caring for an ill family member, don’t automatically pass them over for a promotion because you assume they won’t have the ability to take on the next task. Many people keep quiet about their private life at home because they simply don’t trust their managers to act in a way that benefits both parties mutually.
The conversations you have with your team should be used to increase understanding. Use what you learn in the conversations to support your team and give them the resources they need to succeed while on the job.
7. Recognize the Strengths of Each Team Member
Even if they do the same job, no two people are the same. Your team is made up of individuals with different talents and strengths.
Instead of trying to make every team member assimilate, recognize what individual strengths your team members have and lean into those strengths to achieve your overall goals.
For example, some people are better at problem solving and others are better at communication. As a manager, you can use what you know to improve project assignments and overall team dynamics. Observe your team to identify their strengths, or use an assessment tool to measure the strengths of each individual. And hire team members to fill in the gaps.
8. Don’t Gossip
While you can’t stop your team from gossiping with each other, you can stop yourself from gossiping with your team. It’s not a good look to talk about someone behind their back as a manager. And the team members who you’re gossipping with may engage and speculate along with you, but they won’t trust you.
Ultimately, this behavior will lead to a breakdown of trust in the office because the team members that you gossip with will feel like you’re gossiping about them to others.
Instead, don’t talk about the personal lives of your colleagues.
The Bottom Line
Implement the above strategies to increase trust with your team. If you’re looking for even more tips on how to build trust, check out The FABRIC Podcast, where we share stories and insights from our team here at The Receptionist. You’ll learn strategies for introducing Fun, Authentic, Bold, Respectful, Innovative, and Collaborative (i.e., FABRIC) practices in your own workplace.
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