Establishing trust should be a highly prioritized function of any team working today. Collaborative effort is a challenging task that takes continual fostering of respect and boundaries.
A recent study in the Harvard Business Review demonstrates how the ‘ability to build trust has a profound effect on business results.’
HBR states that there are three facets of trust building among teams. Take a look below and evaluate whether your company harbors an atmosphere of confidence and stability.
1. Listen to employees
Building alliances and kinship means establishing a belief in the value of teamwork. Interdependence can be a highly rewarding state but it can also foster distrust if the situation is abused. Wherever there is risk involved, team effort can falter if trust is not intimately fostered. This environment can be created when there is a level of equality. To be equal means to not just listen but to empathize. As a manager or team leader, empathy is your greatest ally. A Northwestern University study on team- based rewards observed that when a team performs highly; it is the interaction among team members, not the members themselves that creates high performance. Lead by example with a strong ear and sensitivity, then see others follow suit.
2. Identify specific roles
Assign roles based on specialized skills and unique qualities rather than achievements. Trust means showing others that you expect them to succeed, even if they haven’t proven themselves yet. Evaluations must also be knowledge-based rather than about reaching targets. This breeds an atmosphere of healthy competition rather than destructive competition. Destructive competition is where employees are pitted against each other in a manner that encourages moral ubiquity. Instead, create a workplace where every team member feels respected and appreciated for their own particular set of skills and accomplishments.
3. Be consistent about evaluation
Healthy team reward structures are a leading factor in establishing a collaborative trust. Cooperation amongst employees can often be strengthened by the team’s perception of fairness. In a successful workplace, all members of a given team are evaluated by one manager, rather than an array of functional managers. Teams are united through recognition. The establishment of objective processes and measurable rewards criteria is a direct pathway to collaborative success.
The International Journal of Project Management reports that trust between project team members working positively impacts the acquisition of external knowledge which, in turn, promotes product innovation. Teams who trust one another are three times more likely to perform well, showing continual improvement and sustainable results.
Ultimately the facts show that implementing a trusting atmosphere in your workplace will always work in your favor.