How To Build Trust With Your Team Members
Building trust among team members is essential to any successful business.
In high-performing teams, trust means every team member relies completely on each other to do the right thing at the right time.
Why Trust Is So Important
High-trust companies understand why building trust is key to their success. Building trust is not something they feel obliged to do purely for moral reasons but because it improves all aspects of the organization.
When team members trust each other they:
- Plan more effectively
- Become more efficient
- Become strong teams
And it is clear to see when there is a low-trust work environment – it will impact every aspect of your business, such as:
- Team morale
- Employee engagement
- Team success
- Team performance
Building strong personal relationships and fostering team trust make everything better.
How To Spot A High-Trust Environment
Before you can build trust with your team members, you must know what mutual trust looks like within a team.
Here are a few things to look out for.
Is There Open Communication?
When there is whole team trust, employees will take more responsibility among themselves rather than taking everything to the team leaders.
In a trusting environment, and under strong leadership, team members trust each other and have faith in the direction of their projects.
If employees can’t trust other team members with their concerns, criticism, or advice – whatever it may be – they will struggle to work effectively as a team to achieve common company goals.
Open and free knowledge sharing is critical for a trusting environment and the ongoing success of a business.
Are Employees Admitting Mistakes?
This follows from the comment about open communication. If team members are unable to communicate openly and honestly with each other then mistakes will not be dealt with and learnt from.
This deceitful culture will be detrimental to the success of any business. Mistakes are essential tools in the ongoing performance of a team – and learning from mistakes together is a key way of building trust among team members.
What’s more, a culture in which each team member is scared to own up to their mistakes will result in lower job satisfaction and affect the psychological safety of team members.
Are There Problems In The Team Meeting?
If conflicts and tension arise during the team meeting, this is a clear sign that employees do not trust one another.
This can be especially detrimental in a virtual team, where it is more difficult to fully appreciate the problem and engage with it.
If your team finds it difficult to work constructively through meetings, then you need to build trust and develop meaningful bonds among them.
Team meetings are the cornerstone of ongoing success as they allow team leaders to identify problems, successes, and solutions while encouraging employee engagement in the decision-making process.
What Are The Best Ways To Build Trust?
If you have noticed any of these issues in your team or remote team, worry not. There are many ways you can begin to rectify the problem and start fostering trust within your team members!
Here are just a few of the best ways to build team trust in your organization.
Encourage Honesty and Open Discussion
When there is a lack of trust within an organization, people tend to be less honest and shut themselves away from other team members.
If a company culture does not allow for free and open discussion, it can turn toxic. People can become:
Building trust starts with truth and honesty. You must convince any new team that more trust and honesty are in their best interests moving forward.
When building trust, employees want to feel the respect and value of their peers. The ability of team members to share their honest opinions leads to better ideas and stronger relationships.
How To Inspire Healthy Communication
Getting this right will make it much easier to build trust. Here are a few tips and ideas.
- Encourage team-building activities such as an Escape Room or a Mystery game, such as Cluedo Mystery or a Murder Mystery Event.
- These are great for getting your team to lower their defences and it makes them take a deep dive into solving complex problems together. A win-win!
- Encourage team members to challenge one another and the team leaders. Ask them to do this whenever they feel justified, whether in team meetings or through direct reports in one on ones.
- This open environment is brilliant for creating opportunities that will benefit the future progress of any organization.
Create Opportunities For Creative Collaboration
To build trust, opportunities for open and free collaboration must be available as often as possible.
People understand that the best way to build trust is by solving problems together. It means that team members are reliant on one another to get work done – a mutual trust must develop.
A brilliant way for a team to build these skills is by getting them to complete things outside their daily work tasks. A brilliant opportunity for teams to build these skills is tackling tasks outside of their day-to-day.
Facing new challenges inspires creativity by definition. They encourage teams to get more resourceful, support one another, and see things from new perspectives.
A great way to build trust through creative collaboration is a team-building event. There are some excellent activities that will get the creative juices flowing and teams working together, such as:
- Improv class: An Improv class is perfect for encouraging teams to think quickly and innovatively. In these classes, they must be open and receptive to every new idea or problem that comes their way – perfect for the business world.
- They must also trust and support one another to keep the games going. What’s more, this is a perfect team-building game for in-person and online teams. It will help build trust and an open-minded company culture that will take them and your business to the next level.
- Escape Room: An escape room is a perfect example of a team-building event that encourages teams to work together and think creatively to achieve a common goal. Plus, trapping your team members in a room together is a brilliant way to inspire new relationships.
Team-building events are a great way to get teams working together outside of the job. This is how meaningful bonds and a sense of trust are built.
There are so many other excellent team-building activities that you can do, too – so you can always cater the events to the needs and desires of your employees.
Other ways of developing trust through creative collaboration include:
- Ensuring teams have the right tools to succeed in collaborating. For example, in remote team collaboration, you can use an online whiteboard or some other creative software to inspire teamwork.
- Seek out opportunities to work with other teams and organizations. Your employees will likely see an overlap in their objectives and see team trust from another perspective.
Many organizations do one or two of these but do not fully invest their time in them. It is crucial that your business continually seeks out opportunities and aids for creative collaboration.
Keep Responsibilities Clearly Defined
An essential way of getting people employees to trust each other is to make clear the responsibilities of each team member.
Each employee must know precisely what their role is and what it entails as well as have a clear understanding of the roles and responsibilities of their colleagues within both the team and the company.
When employees know exactly what they and their team members need to do, they are less likely to be taking cues from what others are doing and more likely to take the lead and create their own solutions.
Ways To Create Clarity Of Responsibility
- In regular one-on-ones, discuss roles and responsibilities with all employees. Set individual goals for each person in the team so that each has a sense of duty and purpose.
- Once every person in the team is aware that everyone else knows what they need to be doing, it will foster a sense of mutual trust within the team.
- Create a plan that maps out the team’s leadership structure for everyone to reference when they need to.
- Ensure it is clear – so that not just most people but everyone knows – who will lead, contribute to, and be accountable for every project. This type of team relationship is essential for trust in each other.
How To Build Trust With Your Team Members
Building trust is essential to creating a motivated, effective, and creative team. And a high-performing team such as this is crucial to the ongoing success of any business.
To foster a high-trust environment, there are a few critical things you must do. First, you must identify any issues within your team. Ask yourself, ‘Is there a sense of trust throughout my team?’
Once you know this, there are many things you can do to begin developing certain relationships and areas of trust which may be lacking, such as live and virtual team-building activities and creative collaboration exercises.
And if you follow our advice, I am sure you will be developing an incredible team in a high-trust work environment in next to no time!