If you wish your organization to remain successful, it’s paramount that you begin building trust at every level in your teams’ hierarchy.
Without trust between team members, it’s very hard to get anything done in a company. If employees don’t trust each other or their manager, there’s little to motivate them to perform at their best.
On the other hand, employees who can trust their leadership are more likely to be open, honest, empathetic, collaborative, and constructive. All these qualities will be put forward to innovation and productivity in the workplace.
This article will talk about the importance of trust in the workplace and how to assess it. More importantly, we provide you with some surefire tips on how to begin building trust between team members.
Let’s get started.
Why does trust between team members matter?
Trust in the workplace means your employees enjoy a strong team culture, psychological safety, and mutual respect.
This makes them proud of where they work and are more willing to go above and beyond for your organization. Trust in the workplace also helps employees feel secure in their jobs and, in turn, reduces turnover.
Companies where trust is taken lightly often suffer lowered productivity and decreased employee satisfaction. So it’s no secret why more and more CEOs consider trust to be essential for company growth.
By prioritizing workplace trust, you can build a diverse and inclusive culture where your employees will feel a sense of belonging and be more connected to their team. Furthermore, thanks to the psychological safety it provides, trust will allow your workers to feel more comfortable asking questions, sharing ideas, and expressing their thoughts.
Types of trust in the workplace
Generally speaking, there are two types of trust in the workplace, practical and emotional.
- Practical trust is earned by being a reliable worker. This means that you meet commitments, show up on time, and do what you say you’ll do. People rely on your competence and dependability. They trust you to get the job done.
Lacking practical trust can lead to lessened communication, knowledge hoarding, micro-management, missed deadlines, etc.
- Emotional trust is much more difficult to explain but is the type of trust that will bring the entire workplace to the next level. It’s when people trust that you’re on their side. Your colleagues know you’ll treat them respectfully, that you won’t judge them for their setbacks, and they’re comfortable telling you their honest thoughts, feelings, and ideas.
How to build trust in the workplace
Below are some of the best tips that you can apply to your daily habits to increase trust in the workplace.
Listen more often than you speak
Employees are unique individuals who have their ideas and viewpoints. Whether you are a team leader or member, you need to ask them to speak their mind, and when they do, genuinely listen.
This is the foundation for positive workplace relationships built on mutual understanding and trust.
However, this is often easier said than done and listening might require some restraint and personal training.
Request feedback and act upon it
Yet another important aspect of building trust in the workplace is requesting feedback and using it to improve. A majority of employees want to voice their concerns and have a voice in the organization.
You can use feedback solutions such as regular surveys, open meetings, or opening a feedback channel for employees on work-centric communication tools such as Slack. Showing that your employees’ concerns will be addressed on time will allow you to build trust within the organization.
To build credibility, there are three general improvements you can work on:
- Always tell the truth – this might seem obvious, but even telling some white lies can hurt your credibility down the line. For instance, while it might seem like a good idea to lie about completing a certain task, once you are discovered as a liar, no one will trust you anymore.
- Admit when you don’t know something – don’t invent impossible solutions and be honest when you don’t know something.
- Admit when you’re wrong – Someone who never admits they are wrong can irritate their coworkers. It shows they have no self-awareness and they could do anything to hide their wrongdoings.
Show you are a reliable teammate
Reliability is one of the main ingredients for trust in the workplace. Luckily, you can become reliable by following some of these simple tips:
- If you say you’re going to do something, do it – canceling meetings at the last minute or missing deadlines will make people wonder whether you are a reliable teammate. If you make a habit out of it, your coworkers will no longer trust you and will avoid working with you on important projects.
- Take care of your responsibilities – if you are meant to finish a task, do it. Don’t let it slip to someone else, increasing their workload. Not only does this frustrate people, but it also suggests you’re not fully committed. People won’t trust that you can (or will) do your job.
- Explain your thought process – communicate your intentions and reasons for doing something. This way, you give people a grounding for trusting what you do because they can understand why you’re doing it.
Show trust to gain trust
Finally, to build trust with coworkers, you need to create some intimacy. If you want people to trust you, you need to show you trust them as well.
When you closely observe or micromanage your team’s work, employees are bound to feel like you don’t trust them. Most people don’t want anyone to constantly look over their shoulders. They want to feel trusted enough to be able to work with minimal supervision.
Be supportive without hovering, and show that you’re available without putting pressure on your coworkers.
Trust is an essential ingredient to building a safe and enjoyable workplace. It improves the worker’s experience, reducing turnover and increasing productivity. Hopefully, the tips we shared will help you assess the level of trust at your workplace and begin building upon it.