Trust in the Workplace

Just like every lasting relationship, any successful workplace requires two key elements: trust and unity.

Without these pillars in place, your team members are likely to feel that they can’t rely on one another, communication falters, productivity and engagement stagnate, innovation stops, and the entire workplace begins to unravel.

As a leader, it’s your job to ensure that none of this happens. However, making sure that team unity and trust remain ever present in your business requires you to constantly develop and implement fresh methods, ideas, and tactics for building an aligned and trusting team culture.

In this article, we offer some information about strategic-leadership development, how to build trust in a team setting, and other team-building tips that will help you run a successful, cohesive business.

How to Build Trust with Your Team

Defined as the “firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something,” trust is imperative to building a healthy company culture.

When trust is built in a team, employees know they can rely on each other to do the right thing, take accountability for their actions, and have people’s backs when they step out on a limb, take a risk, or make a mistake.

Not only does trust offer a sense of safety throughout all levels of the company, but it also allows employees the freedom to push the limits of innovation, collaboration, creativity, and productivity. Without trust, the entire business structure is at risk.

Team Building

Connection Aerial View Concept

Fortunately for you, there are several ways to encourage, inspire, and build trust in the workplace. Here are a few key tactics:

  • Lead by example: Leading by example is something you should be well acquainted with given your position of authority. This can be difficult, however, when it comes to openly showing people that you trust them. But by demonstrating that you trust yourself, your colleagues, and those in positions above you, you can show your ever-watchful employees just how beneficial trust can be.
  • Communicate openly: Again, just as trust is imperative in relationships, maintaining open communication with the people on your team is key. By taking measures like outlining a team “code of conduct” that defines the purpose of both the team as a whole and its individual members, you can create a culture that allows employees to talk openly, honestly, and strategically, which will benefit all aspects of the company.
  • Get personal: Consider hosting several out-of-office or after-work gatherings where your employees have a chance to bond over things that don’t necessarily involve work. Lead by example during these occasions by sharing personal information, talking about your hobbies, discussing cultural tastes, and admitting weird quirks. Seeing their leaders as people allows employees to feel more comfortable opening up, and connecting with others on a personal level will allow team trust to develop naturally.
  • Avoid playing the blame game: Sometimes accidents happen, plans don’t work out, and mistakes are made; that’s just the way life works. However, by feeding into a culture that allows others to point fingers at one another, your workplace will quickly become toxic. Rather than allowing employees to blame each other for downfalls, try encouraging constructive criticism and brainstorming ways your team can move forward in a beneficial way.

Use your creativity and innovation to revisit these tips on a regular basis and think through different ways you can revise them to meet the trust needs of your staff. When paired with the team-building strategies listed below, you can establish a company culture that is centered around trust.

Step Up Your Team Building

Team-building training is a tried-and-true method for creating a trusting, successful company atmosphere. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for the key benefits and focuses points of these events to get lost in the games, activities, and projects on the training agenda. In order to make your team-building training truly effective, keep these tips in mind:

  • Make sure all team-building activities have clear, defined objectives and ensure everyone knows the purpose of the event.
  • Ensure that the activities you include are actually productive for team building and not just for having fun. Go over the takeaways and lessons you want your team to get out of each activity and analyze whether they meet these needs.
  • Inclusion should be one of the top goals of all team-building training. This can often be difficult as employees vary in personality types and availability, so make sure every employee can be involved in making definitive plans.
  • Foster healthy competition by creating activities that are intense and challenging, yet lighthearted.
  • Lastly, remember that there is a time and a place for team-building training, and that team trust builds over time. Consider starting with low-key activities where people share concerns and discuss formalities and increase the intensity of the activities from there.

Interested in learning more about building high-performance teams?

Contact CMOE today for a customized plan to achieve your business goals.

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About the Author
CMOE’s Design Team is comprised of individuals with diverse and complementary strengths, talents, education, and experience who have come together to bring a unique service to CMOE’s clients. Our team has a rich depth of knowledge, holding advanced degrees in areas such as business management, psychology, communication, human resource management, organizational development, and sociology.

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