The whole foundation of a well-functioning workplace is built on trust. You can have the most talented employees on the planet but if people don’t trust their peers, direct reports and especially their managers, failure at some level (or multiple levels) is likely imminent.
The Team Where Trust Disappeared
We read an interesting story recently via *Mineral about a team full of employees that noticed a physical issue with their building but ignored it for a multitude of reasons. Several of them were too embarrassed to acknowledge they saw a problem that everyone else might have already known about; there were others that had been yelled at or patronized in the past for asking a simple question or reporting something they thought was helpful. When no one acknowledged the issue, the building literally crumbled. Of course, this is an exaggeration of a real underlying issue related to trust. When no one feels comfortable communicating, is afraid to speak up or share ideas, business crumbles just like the building in the story.
What Trust Really Means
The literal definition of the word team is, “a number of persons forming one of the sides in a game or contest” or “a number of persons associated in some joint action.” A team means working together and having a common goal. When a team starts with trust, and can maintain that trust, they are able to accomplish so much more.
The act of building trust isn’t easy and it isn’t immediate. And once it’s there, it takes consistency, transparency and active effort to solve workplace issues in order to keep that trust. It requires understanding the needs and wants of your employees and what their definition of trust is, in addition to yours.
The Impact of a Trusting Team
Have you heard that expression, “teamwork makes the dream work”? It’s a little cheesy, but it’s so true. Teammates that openly trust each other are proven to be far more successful. They are more productive and have increased collaboration and sharing of ideas. Furthermore, teams built on trust bring more creativity and innovation and are better at conflict resolution. And, because barriers are reduced so significantly, they overall achieve greater financial success.
Believe in your Employees
Above all, managers must be capable of believing in their employees and their abilities. The trust must be reciprocal in order to work. This means building them up, letting them occasionally fail and still cheering them on as they learn from their mistakes. Invest in their continual learning. Create a culture in which your employees know they’re your most valuable asset and you’ll reap the rewards.
Are you interested in other ways to develop and maintain a strong workforce? We understand that keeping great talent takes more than delivering paychecks and benefits. To learn more about what we offer, contact us today.
*Article inspiration came from an HR newsletter Mineral recently distributed