In today’s competitive business environment, trust has become a big issue. Employers don’t trust their employees and employees often don’t trust the employer. Moreover, employees don’t trust each other. Trust is an essential part of teamwork, and teamwork is required in many business environments. Team building must emphasize trust and working together towards a common goal. Here are some tips for building teams based on trust:
Why Trust is Important in the Work Environment
Trust enhances communication between team members because the parties involved are thought to be believable. It helps team members rely on each other. It enhances cooperation because trust is motivating. Employees want to know that they can count on each other to take personal responsibility for their own parts of a project and add to the collective success of a group.
Delegation works best when associates understand the strengths and weaknesses of each group member and can trust that tasks are assigned to the most qualified people. Otherwise, no one member of the team will be able to focus on their specific role, as they will be worried about their teammates’ competency.
Individuality vs. Group Mentality
While teams in the past were often used only for special projects, many businesses have found using teams successful in their day-to-day operations. But getting employees to collaborate isn’t as easy as one might think. Individuality has been the focus of the business environment for so long that it requires an adjustment for many people to escape the “get ahead of the pack” mentality to be able to work with a team.
Teams that work well together help members feel comfortable sharing and offering suggestions without the need for individual recognition for ideas. Managers shouldn’t mistrust employees and try playing the role of a private investigator company. Business resources are better spent building trust and relationships.
Tips for Creating Trusting Teams
Human resources expert Susan Heathfield offers tips on how managers can make and manage trusting teams. Teams should work on real projects to solve issues and improve processes, not just work together for the sake of working together. Meetings should be held to review the progress of the project the team is working on. If any issues in personality or progress are found, the manager should take care of those issues.
To help the team work as a unit, good managers will plan shared experiences such as dinners or retreats to encourage fun and cooperation. Icebreakers and team-building exercises should be used to help team members get to know one another, which will promote interaction.
Finally, managers should refrain from praising individual team members for their efforts. The group should be recognized as a whole for their accomplishments to create a sense of pride and unity.
Effective teams will trust each other and their manager. They will be confident in their work and secure that they will be acknowledged for their contributions. Since trust is something that is hard to build but easy to lose, be sure it’s a central part of your management strategy!
- Aaron Walker (Guest Writer)