5 Top Tips for Building a Trustworthy Team

Trust is the foundation of any highly effective team: when employees trust each other, they are more prepared to innovate and take calculated risks, engage in open, and sometimes frank discussions, and support one another for their own well-being and the health of the business.

In fact, according to research, people who work for high-trust companies are 50 per cent more productive, 76 per cent more engaged, 74 per cent less stressed, and 40 per cent less likely to experience burnout.

While a team development course is a great way to strengthen your business’s ethos, there are other simple and effective ways to build trust in the workplace that you can implement right now!

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1. Be Honest and Transparent 

To encourage trust among your team, honesty and transparency should be the bedrock of your workplace culture. By working with your colleagues to foster a culture of mutual support and truthfulness, you'll earn the trust of others and will establish a more resilient and cohesive team. Keeping everyone informed is pivotal to preventing misunderstandings and ensuring that nobody feels frozen out.

2. Own Your Mistakes 

Whereas arrogant individuals rarely accept that they are wrong, embracing accountability means you have the courage to admit your mistakes, something that will earn you the respect of your team. In contrast, making excuses or attributing blame elsewhere will erode trust. Instead, be forthright and explain how, next time, you’ll do things differently. Maintaining this approach will instil confidence in your reliability and integrity and create an environment where people feel able to speak up and be honest with you when they too make mistakes.

3. Following Through on Your Word

Building trust at work means sticking to your promises. Consider the negative press given to Prime Ministers when they publicly pledge to do something and then go back on it only 24 hours later. Avoiding making commitments you cannot stick to and making an effort to honour agreements is key. Consistency, adherence to deadlines, and honesty when facing challenges also contribute to a transparent and open team dynamic that results in fewer obstacles and an accelerated pace of work.

4. Recognise Effort and Hard Work

According to recent research, 85 per cent of employees are satisfied if their managers say ‘thank you’ for their efforts and achievements. Feeling that their hard work is unseen or ignored is highly destructive, affecting employee motivation, engagement, and mental health. In an inclusive and trusting workplace culture, politeness and respect are non-negotiables, while demonstrating that you appreciate individuals’ hard work will reinforce personal connections and strengthen your team ethos.

5. Lead by Example

Finally, embrace the role of a team leader and encourage loyalty and trust by setting an example with your behaviour. By role-modelling the conduct you hope to see in others, you’ll contribute to a culture of reciprocity in which team members can rely on each other.

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To learn about creating a more cohesive workplace culture and overcoming a lack of team collaboration, please download our free guide ‘How to resolve workplace conflict and still maintain strong relationships’.

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