Today, trust is becoming increasingly recognized as an essential asset to high-performing teams, workplace culture and ultimately, business results and success. When team members know that they can count on each other and feel comfortable that their contributions will be heard and valued, it fosters collaboration, breaks down silos, encourages risk taking and sharing of ideas, increases morale and productivity, and drives engagement. With trust, you will see individuals and the team as a whole do their best work.
Conversely, where trust is absent, you will see disengaged, withdrawn team members who experience doubt about sharing their ideas and instead play it safe – thus resulting in decreased collaboration and productivity.
The bottom line is that teams do not perform well without trust. Despite the importance of it, teams often struggle to maintain trust for the long term. Why is that?
How to Build Trust Within Your Team
Lead by example
Be mindful to show your team respect and that you trust them. This can be done through transparency when it comes to any progress or problems, allowing members to take the lead where appropriate, and using “we” rather than “I”. Follow through on promises you make so that they feel comfortable trusting you.
Encourage honest, open communication through regular meetings and establishing team norms that ensure everyone’s ideas will be welcomed and heard. Regular meetings will allow team members to talk, get more comfortable with each other, and brainstorm on any problems.
Encourage sharing of ideas
Ensure your team knows that they are each there for a reason. They all have complementary strengths and are a valued asset to the team. Provide praise for their ideas and actively listen when they are shared. Create a culture where mistakes are not a negative, but rather a sign of innovation, and an opportunity for growth and learning.
Establishing and maintaining trust is an ongoing task but, if you are successful, you will likely see reduced turnover, improved morale, and a strengthened organization overall.
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