4 Ways to Build Trust Within Your Team

Afterburner Team Written by:
Afterburner Team

Without trust, is a team really a team?

The answer is no. That’s why it’s vital to build trust within your team.

Without trust, your ‘team’ is merely a group of people working together, and more often than not, providing disappointing results. You could have some outstanding performers and individuals within your team, but without trust, it means nothing. They’re most likely working at cross purposes, which means not only will your productivity be at an all-time low, but you’re likely to never reach your full potential without trust.

Trust means that you are relying on someone else’s character, ability, truth, and strength to do the right thing. Essentially, trust is being able to put yourself on the line because you believe in their integrity. Trust provides a sense of safety, and safety is essential to building an effective team.

4 tips when building trust within your team

  1. Lead by example. Show your team that you trust others. This means instilling a sense of trust amongst everyone, regardless of their position within the business. It’s human nature to be constantly watching and taking cues from the action of others, so take this opportunity to show your team what trust looks like. Keep your promises and provide positive follow-ups and follow-throughs where applicable.
  2. Openly communicate. Having the ability to speak without interruption allows your teams to express how they are feeling without the fear of backlash. Try implementing a weekly X-Gap (execution gap) meeting where the team comes together to identify what has been completed compared to the goals set and/or timeline. You can also implement a debriefing every day. Encourage every member of your team to speak, and ensure you’re not the only one contributing to the conversation. Keep it on track, but allow your team members to see where they can take the conversation. This will quickly build trust. Speaking in an honest, meaningful way allows people to let their guard down and become more trusting amongst others.
  3. Show that you value your team. If you only see your team members as production units, then that’s the team culture that will be formed. In order to create trust, your team needs to value one another. This begins with just one person showing appreciation for what someone brings to the table (and that person should be you). When you make human decisions instead of mechanical ones, people will notice. Show them that they’re valued, whether that’s with some public recognition or a private note. It could even be a team outing to celebrate the entire team’s wins.
  4. Be honest and clear. You’ve heard it since you were a child: honesty is the best policy. The more visibility your team members have to the business, the better. Giving insight about future plans, priorities, challenges, and opportunities will let your team be more in sync with one another and prevent them from feeling like anything is hidden from them. The more in sync they are, the more productive they will be. If everyone is on the same page about what needs to be done, they’ll be more likely to trust one another with the responsibilities at hand.

Your team culture won’t change over night. Creating trust amongst your team is something you have to put effort toward every day. Success comes from fostering a culture of respectful truth over artificial harmony. With honesty and trust comes a high-performance team, and high-performance teams always win.

Need a jumpstart on fostering a trustworthy work environment? Reach out to us here. Our simple, holistic process gives you and your team a solution you can own.