Whether you’re a small business owner or CEO to a large enterprise, building a team of experienced and skilled individuals is essential to your success. But we often forget one crucial element to establishing a productive work environment – trust.
Establishing trust within your team will set you apart from the competition and help you achieve your goals. Without trust, your business can quickly become an unfulfilled environment that can diminish opportunities for achievement or success.
Creating a high-trust team doesn’t have to be difficult, and establishing trust is simply the by-product of honouring your team member’s highest values – what it is that is most important to them.
By allowing each member of staff to understand how they can contribute to themselves as well as the team is the first step towards building trust.
So how do you build a high-trust team? Understanding your staff’s highest values is one of many stepping stones to establishing trust. Five other ways to achieve this are:
1. Stop fearing failure
The long-standing belief that failure should be avoided at all costs to achieve success can often work against you. Allowing your team to make so-called “mistakes” gives them room to learn and grow, and they’ll be less likely to fail in the future.
This will be advantageous not only to your business but to your staff, as they will trust that you’ll give them the freedom to challenge themselves, to be creative and pick themselves up after experiencing “failure”, or what is actually a feedback.
2. Avoid micromanaging
Loosening the reigns to avoid becoming the dreaded micromanager will quell your team’s anxieties and show that you trust their abilities. Give your staff more responsibility and delegate tasks that may go beyond their current skill set or knowledge.
They will go above and beyond to prove their potential and keep your trust, encouraging them to step outside their comfort zone and achieve things they never thought possible.
3. Encourage debate
Surrounding yourself with like-minded, supportive employees who agree with your ideas, while a great false self-esteem boost, can become counterproductive, and you will quickly find yourself leading a team of blind followers, rather than innovative individuals. This will hinder the progression and growth of your business, and stifle your staff’s potential and creativity.
Allow your staff to respectfully disagree with you. This shows you trust their opinions and insights. Encouraging lively debate will present you with alternatives and new ideas that will work in your business and your team’s best interests. Greater still, the staff will speak up more and challenge you, proving they trust both you and themselves.
4. Provide regular feedback
Giving feedback outside of formal reviews will help you determine your staff’s strengths and weaknesses, and help them develop in areas that require improvement.
There’s nothing more disheartening than a team member sitting down for a formal review only to realise they’ve been completing a task inadequately all along. It's even more disheartening to find out that they’ve been repeating costly ‘mistakes’ for months. This creates fear and distrust, and can put a damper on employee morale and productivity.
Address concerns immediately and provide constructive criticism and feedback. Your staff will appreciate this and will seek your guidance and help in the future, creating an environment with less stress and conflict.
5. Get personal
A great way to build trust is to encourage your team to bond with each other. Start by sharing the most meaningful aspects of your personal life, whether it be a hobby or a humorous anecdote. Your staff will open up and provide insight into their lives that will help your team work more effectively together and establish a more comfortable, relaxed work environment.
Strong teams are built on high trust and will create a cooperative, productive work environment, allowing your business to grow and prosper.
Dr John Demartini is a human behaviour expert, speaker, author and CEO and founder of The Demartini Institute.