Why trust is the secret to creating effective teams


Whether you’re a small business owner or CEO of a large enterprise, building a team of experienced and skilled individuals is essential to your success.

We often forget a crucial element to establishing a strong culture of innovation at work – trust. Without it your team cannot work cohesively and effectively.

Establishing trust within your team will set you apart from the competition and help you achieve your goals. Without it your business can quickly become an unfulfilling environment that can diminish opportunities for achievement or success.

Creating a high trust team doesn’t have to be difficult – and establishing trust is simply the by-product of honouring what’s most important to your individual. By allowing each member of staff to understand how they can contribute to their own career as well as the team is the first step towards building trust.

(Want to know how Netflix used trust to became a beacon for good HR? Read our story.)

So how do you build a high trust team?

Understanding your staff’s highest values is one of the first stepping stones to establishing trust. Here, we look at five other important factors you need ways to achieve employee trust:

1. Don’t Fear Failure

The belief that failure should be avoided at all costs works against you. Allowing your team to make ‘mistakes’ gives them room to grow, and they’ll be less likely to ‘fail’ in the future. This will help your staff, as they will trust that you will give them the freedom to challenge themselves, be creative and pick themselves up after experiencing a setback.

2. Avoid Micro-management

Loosening the reins will quell your team’s anxieties and show that you trust their abilities. Give your staff more responsibility and delegate tasks that may go beyond their current skill set or knowledge. They will strive to prove their potential and keep your trust. Encouraging them to step outside their comfort zone will also foster problem-solving skills and a culture of initiative.

3. Encourage Debate

Surrounding yourself with like-minded, supportive employees who agree with your ideas can be a great boost to your self-esteem, but in the long run it’s counterproductive. You will quickly find yourself leading  blind followers, rather than innovative individuals. Instead, allow your staff to respectfully disagree with you and trust their opinions and insights. Staff will recognise the value of speaking up and challenging past assumptions about best practice. Let the trust flow both ways.

4. Provide Regular Feedback

Giving feedback outside of formal reviews will help you determine your staff’s strengths and weaknesses and help them develop in areas that require improvement. There’s nothing more disheartening than a team member sitting down for a formal review only to realise they’ve been completing a task inadequately all along. Even more disheartening – that they’ve been repeating costly mistakes for months. Addressing concerns immediately and providing constructive criticism and feedback is the basis of an agile working culture that nips issues in the bud. Your staff will appreciate this and will seek your guidance and help in the future, resulting in an environment with less stress and conflict.

5. Get Personal

A great way to build trust is to encourage your team to bond with each other. Studies have shown that bonding is an essential factor in high-performing teams. One way to kick off an open culture is by sharing aspects of your life outside of work. Taking the lead will encourage your staff to open up, and provide insight into their own lives that will help your team work more effectively together.

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Why trust is the secret to creating effective teams


Whether you’re a small business owner or CEO of a large enterprise, building a team of experienced and skilled individuals is essential to your success.

We often forget a crucial element to establishing a strong culture of innovation at work – trust. Without it your team cannot work cohesively and effectively.

Establishing trust within your team will set you apart from the competition and help you achieve your goals. Without it your business can quickly become an unfulfilling environment that can diminish opportunities for achievement or success.

Creating a high trust team doesn’t have to be difficult – and establishing trust is simply the by-product of honouring what’s most important to your individual. By allowing each member of staff to understand how they can contribute to their own career as well as the team is the first step towards building trust.

(Want to know how Netflix used trust to became a beacon for good HR? Read our story.)

So how do you build a high trust team?

Understanding your staff’s highest values is one of the first stepping stones to establishing trust. Here, we look at five other important factors you need ways to achieve employee trust:

1. Don’t Fear Failure

The belief that failure should be avoided at all costs works against you. Allowing your team to make ‘mistakes’ gives them room to grow, and they’ll be less likely to ‘fail’ in the future. This will help your staff, as they will trust that you will give them the freedom to challenge themselves, be creative and pick themselves up after experiencing a setback.

2. Avoid Micro-management

Loosening the reins will quell your team’s anxieties and show that you trust their abilities. Give your staff more responsibility and delegate tasks that may go beyond their current skill set or knowledge. They will strive to prove their potential and keep your trust. Encouraging them to step outside their comfort zone will also foster problem-solving skills and a culture of initiative.

3. Encourage Debate

Surrounding yourself with like-minded, supportive employees who agree with your ideas can be a great boost to your self-esteem, but in the long run it’s counterproductive. You will quickly find yourself leading  blind followers, rather than innovative individuals. Instead, allow your staff to respectfully disagree with you and trust their opinions and insights. Staff will recognise the value of speaking up and challenging past assumptions about best practice. Let the trust flow both ways.

4. Provide Regular Feedback

Giving feedback outside of formal reviews will help you determine your staff’s strengths and weaknesses and help them develop in areas that require improvement. There’s nothing more disheartening than a team member sitting down for a formal review only to realise they’ve been completing a task inadequately all along. Even more disheartening – that they’ve been repeating costly mistakes for months. Addressing concerns immediately and providing constructive criticism and feedback is the basis of an agile working culture that nips issues in the bud. Your staff will appreciate this and will seek your guidance and help in the future, resulting in an environment with less stress and conflict.

5. Get Personal

A great way to build trust is to encourage your team to bond with each other. Studies have shown that bonding is an essential factor in high-performing teams. One way to kick off an open culture is by sharing aspects of your life outside of work. Taking the lead will encourage your staff to open up, and provide insight into their own lives that will help your team work more effectively together.

Leave a reply

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Notify me of
More on HRM