Building a high-trust team or organization? Yes you can!
Nowadays, companies are making increased efforts to build trust in their teams. Rightly so, as many studies show that high-trust organizations are able to empower and challenge their employees more successfully, which leads to better outcomes and higher performance throughout the organization. In fact, without a culture of trust, no team will be able to advance effectively.
Employees in high-trust organizations are more productive, have more energy at work, collaborate better as a team and stay with their jobs longer than people working at low-trust companies. They also suffer less stress and feel happier with their lives, which fuels stronger performance.
But high-trust organizations don’t just happen overnight. They need to be built over time, conscientiously and with a high degree of active listening to the needs and concerns of both individuals and teams. Having the correct tools to develop a high-trust team is an integral part of creating this type of internal culture. But where can you begin?
The answer is: with the data.
Using data to build trust
The first step is to understand the need for trust within your team and prove that you are willing to do the work to get there. And, like any important relationship, creating a culture of trust within an organization begins with having the right information to act upon.
Using data can give you the insights you need to assess the situation, identify the weak spots and move forward towards a more trusting work culture. In today’s atomized work environment with remote teams and virtual meetings, a digital tool is essential to get hold of that data.
Here are four ways that data can help you to begin the transformation:
- Measuring the level of trust. Understanding the current situation in your team is an important first step to finding the desired solution. If trust levels are low within your organization, an anonymous reporting tool might help individuals to open up and provide better data.
- Transparency in reporting. Honesty is the key to building trust. Even if the results are contrary to what you had hoped for, allowing team members to view what was discovered is an important part of demonstrating trustworthiness.
- Making communication easier. Providing channels to share opinions, give feedback and speak directly to leaders is a vital foundation of a high-trust culture. The feeling of being listened to is an essential cornerstone of any trusting relationship.
- Finding the right tools to create and or maintain trust. Once you know the baseline of trust within your organization, it is important to get the proper training and tools to start to create a high-trust culture within your organization.
The essence of trust
What is trust? Essentially, trust is a leap of faith and a belief in those around us. In the workplace environment that translates into having a strong sense of shared purpose and a culture that values tolerance and cooperation. Trust also provides psychological safety, creating an environment where team members have the opportunity to be themselves, express their feelings and innovate without fear of judgement.
For leaders, having a high level of trust means being unafraid to reach out and rely on the input of your team. A high-trust leader understands how to use trust to motivate and get the best from their team:
Recognition: Scientists have proven that recognition has the largest effect on trust when it occurs immediately after a goal has been met. Public recognition not only uses the power of the team to celebrate successes, but also inspires others to aim for excellence.
Openness: Honest feedback in an organization is key. A 2015 study of 2.5 million teams in 195 countries found that workforce engagement improved when supervisors had some form of daily communication with direct reports.
Empathy: When people intentionally build social relationships at work, their performance improves. Leaders who express interest in and concern for team members’ success and personal well-being outperform others in the quality and quantity of their work.
The ‘Return on Trust’
People working in a high-trust organization enjoy their jobs more and feel a greater sense of accomplishment, which leads to a greater commitment to company goals. High-trust workplaces help people to develop personally as well as professionally. Therefore, the benefits can be felt throughout the organization in terms of both performance and well-being.
By identifying and measuring the ways to sustain trust, every company can start to create a road map towards their ultimate destination: becoming a high-trust organization.
Find out how TeamEQ can help to increase empathy and empowerment in your teams by taking a demo today.