How to Build Trust in Your Team - EmployeeConnect HRIS
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How to Build Trust in Your Team

Whether you are a front-line supervisor or the CEO of a company, “trust” in some form is critical whenever it comes to performance. Trust is in fact considered to be one of those softer topics that busy managers rarely think about on a day to day basis.  In fact, it never makes it to a list of objectives or an annual performance review. This is not at all encouraging news, as the “trust” issue needs to be on a manager’s mind every single day and in every encounter.

It is this failure to build trust with peers, co-workers, and team members which is the formula behind strife, stress, and suboptimal results. Effective managers understand that building trust is a complex and sometimes slow process. Here are a few tips to help you build trust in your team.

Power Tips For Building Trust On Your Team

  1. To effectively give trust to your team members, you need to gain their trust as well. The majority of people are likely to move mountains even to repay this powerful yet simple gesture of respect.
  2. Develop a habit of linking individual and team priorities to the overall organisational goals and strategies. People are more likely to thrive when they have the context of the work they are doing. They are also likely to perform better if they understand the context of their work, aligned with the bigger picture.
  3. Keep your team informed about the company’s financial results. Whether your company is privately-held or publicly-traded, the amount of time that you spend in talking about and explaining the financial results of the company is highly appreciated. When you display this level of transparency, it suggests you trust your team member with this crucial information.
  4. Spend more time to understand and support the career aspirations of your team members. When you invest more time and effort to help a team member achieve his or her career aspirations, it suggests you care for the individual. Organic & honest caring begets trust.
  5. Be vulnerable enough to admit your mistake whenever you commit one. You should also make an effort to ask for your feedback and then do something positive with the input received. Take efforts to thank the team members who provided you with their constructive inputs.
  6. It’s a good idea to give away your authority once in a while. If you have the norm of conducting regular operations meetings, try rotating the responsibility of developing the agenda and leading the meeting. Try to delegate decision-making as often as possible to teams or individuals. By doing so, you not only show your trust in others, but you also give them an opportunity to strengthen their trust in you.
  7. Share the spotlight with your team members. People don’t trust a manager who continually elbows their way into the centre stage, hogging the limelight for the team’s accomplishments. It’s a good idea at such times to step back into the shadows. When you do so, you will realise your team members will repay you many times over.
  8. When something goes wrong, occasionally take the heat for your employee’s mistake and keep them safe.
  9. Match your words with your actions, as people on your team are always keeping score.
  10. You must always beware of lessening the value of accountability. Everyone must be accountable for his or her actions. Any exceptions to this rule will end up destroying your credibility and nullify your efforts of building trust.
  11. Never allow challenging issues to linger. Your team members may have empathy for you in navigating the bigger issues, but at the same time, they expect you to do your job well so that they can do theirs.
  12. Develop the habit of holding your team members accountable for building trust between and with your team members. Your team is a direct reflection of you as a leader. So hold them accountable to the same standards that you follow for yourself.
  13. Educate your teams how to debate, decide, and talk. Teach your team members how to discuss alternative approaches or alternative ideas while searching for the best approach.
  14. Whenever a team member makes a mistake, encourage them to share the lessons they learned.
  15. Always operate from a state of the clear and visible set of values. Take the effort to define the values of your organisation that describe the acceptable and aspirational behaviours for your team members. Make it a habit to not only teach these values but also reference them constantly.

Trust is not instant; it’s built over time, driven by the factors described above. Every day there are opportunities to build or break trust. Focus on winning these small but significant moments of trust.


Byron Conway

Content Coordinator at EmployeeConnect