Having a team that works well together is just as important as having workers who have the practical skills needed to take care of everyday tasks. Building trust between all levels of your staff, from upper management down to lower-level employees, can help increase productivity and create a healthier culture in which your team can feel comfortable operating.
What is trust in the workplace?
Trust can mean different things in different areas of life. In a marriage it means being counted on to share home duties such as taking care of children and keeping the house clean. In a sports team it means doing your job on the court or pitch.
Trust in the workplace has similar features. Workers need to be able to depend on their colleagues to complete tasks in order to finish projects and deliver a product or service to customers and clients. They also need to be able to trust each other to put effort into discussions and meetings, to be honest in terms of capacity to finish work and in giving opinions on how to tackle issues and achieve common goals.
Why is trust important in the workplace?
Trust is important because it is the foundation from which a team can function at its highest level. Everybody brings their own abilities to a company, and most projects require the expertise of multiple workers. Building trust allows each person to concentrate on their own domain of expertise instead of having to worry about if colleagues are going to take care of their tasks.
Building trust in the workplace is also important on a personal level. Having a strong workplace culture makes employees more comfortable and can increase everything from output to attendance. Sitting next to and interacting with trustworthy colleagues can help create such an atmosphere.
5 ways you can build trust in the workplace
- Preach honesty
As with other facets of life, honesty is often the best policy. It only takes the uncovering of one small untruth for someone to consider you to be untrustworthy. Such a label can be difficult to escape and can hinder your ability to share opinions or information going forward. That’s why your team needs to be honest. If you’re in upper management, try to be transparent about how the company is doing and where it’s headed. If you’re a lower-level employee, don’t lie about work you’ve completed or your schedule.
- Look for helpful hands
Fostering an environment in which colleagues are working for and with each other can help in building trust in the workplace. If a worker knows he or she can turn to a teammate and ask for assistance in completing a task, he or she will be more likely to offer similar aid in the future. The same goes for management. Helping team members out if they’re overburdened and making sure they have what they require to get the job done will lead to better productivity.
- Treat everybody with respect
Just because somebody’s pay packet is bigger doesn’t mean they deserve more respect than anybody else in your organisation. If everybody feels like they are an important piece of your company’s puzzle, they feel like the organisation as a whole is putting trust in them. Then workers are more likely to reciprocate that trust to others and the organisation itself.
- Go beyond the bottom line
Obviously it’s important for team members to do their job on order to supply your customers and clients with your product or service. But caring about people beyond their production is an important part of building trust in the workplace. Treat your colleagues and employees respectfully and, as stated above, try to help them out when necessary. This rings true not only on a professional level, but also a personal level. If you see your team is stressed out, try to get them out of the office for a bit or offer them assistance on a personal level.
- Admit when you’re wrong
Nobody is perfect. Acknowledging when you’ve been proven wrong or made a mistake will make those you work with put more stock into what you have to say in the future. Acting quickly to make things right will endear you to your colleagues and make you more trustworthy in their eyes.
Knowing why trust is important and building trust in the workplace can help you and your team on both a professional and personal level. Encourage such an environment whenever you can by trying to incorporate some of the above tips into your everyday activities. Think your team could use some help in this department? Reserve a Saxons training room, conveniently located in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Melbourne, get your team together and start developing that strong culture of trust today.