3 Ways To Build Trust within Your Team

Building a high–trust culture requires intentionality. Trust is an essential part of strengthening relationships and maximizing the potential of your team.  While trust should be present at all levels of the organisation, managers are especially able to set the tone and lead by example. 

Conscious actions are required to build trust. It is important that intentional efforts are made to know your people, ask for help, and consistently acknowledge great work.  

Establishing a culture of trust in the workplace is beneficial for all. It facilitates an environment where colleagues feel better connected and are able to collaborate with their peers – this is one of the most impactful ways to transform a workplace. Compared to people at low-trust companies, people at high-trust companies report:

Beyond the personal benefits, a high trust culture is critical for diverse teams and people to thrive – because trust encourages collaboration and knowledge sharing needed for diverse teams to work effectively together.  

Here are 3 ways to skillfully and intentionally build trust within your team.

Know Your People

Relationships are a fundamental part of our everyday lives; they help us feel safe and connected. A lack of trust or low-level of trust can negatively impact the dynamic of our relationships, this can also be said for our workplace relationships.  

Showing interest in your team’s personal well-being, spending time together through work gathering, and trying to build an empathetic connection are some of the simplest ways to build relationships that lead to shared trust later. In general, when we spend time connecting with people, we’re more apt [AD2] to understand their personal challenges and develop a fondness for them. Similarly, when we like and care for people, we don’t want to disappoint them. Building strong workplace relationships can increase team performance. 

Ask For Help

Research suggests that being asked for help increases the levels of oxytocin in a person’s brain which stimulates increased levels of trust and cooperation. Therefore, asking for help or sharing challenges and roadblocks with your team can be a powerful and authentic way to show vulnerability and build trust – while also receiving support. By doing so, you are setting an example that it is okay to seek help. This exchange can be a form of bonding as people are more likely to constructively learn from each other.

Acknowledge Great Work

According to research in neuroscience , recognition has a large effect on trust. Specifically: when it’s from peers, when it’s a tangible form of recognition, when it’s personalised, when it’s public, and when it’s immediately after the work that is being recognised was completed. 

To illustrate this, imagine you completed a massive report in January – If someone says “Thanks for the report.” while walking past your office in May, it won’t make a huge impact. But comparatively, a sincere, specific email from a peer that details what was impressive about your report would be much more memorable. And what would be even more memorable is receiving an unexpected public thank you from the whole team when you walked into the office. 

These are three straightforward – but not exhaustive – ways to build authentic, high-trust connections with colleagues. They don’t require expensive activity budgets or sweeping gestures. Simply showing interest in someone’s well-being, asking for support and giving genuine praise are solid starting steps to building trusting relationships in the workplace. But how will you know if your efforts are effective? Or if trust is the biggest issue within your team? inclusio can help by gathering the trust metrics at your organisation. After all, without a baseline, it’s difficult to determine the appropriate steps and intervention needed – and nearly impossible to know how effective your trust-building initiatives within your team are.

inclusio doesn’t stop at trust, either – we offer deep demographic and scientific benchmarks across areas spanning trust, belonging, psychological safety and beyond that identifies gaps and tells you where to take targeted action.

Contact Us to find out more.