In today's business world, the traditional methods for creating a positive organizational culture requires establishing a management system built around trust. Trust, honesty, and openness are the key elements of creating high-performing teams. The six key strategies for creating a culture of trust presented here can help leaders build high performing teams and achieve all of their business goals – big or small! Curious to know what they are? Keep on reading.
1. Open and Honest Communication
Honesty is the best policy! There’s no doubt about this. Leaders can practice open and honest communication by quickly providing important information to their project team. As Joseph Folkman referenced Stephen M. R. Covey in his article on Forbes.com, trust is defined as “both character (who you are) and competence (your strengths and the results you produce)” (2013). The only way that trust can be developed is by practicing open and honest communication, as it will allow a team to make the necessary adjustments to achieve the project’s goals.
2. Clear Expectations
Setting clear expectations keeps team members accountable and builds trust. Leaders can create a culture of trust by communicating clear expectations, scheduling meetings with dedicated time to discuss project details, and discussing and planning for the expected outcomes with their team. These meetings will give team members the opportunity to ask questions and voice their concerns. Additionally, it is important that expectations are mutual and are written down, so that everyone can be held accountable. Without this acknowledgement, it can quickly become a “he said, she said” argument and levels of trust that had already been built up can be quickly reduced (Heathfield, 2018). Communicating clear expectations up front builds trust because the team will feel like they have the information and resources to meet expectations successfully.
3. Promote Teamwork
Teamwork is essential to business success. When working in teams and collaborative environments, leaders can create a culture of trust by promoting teamwork through providing encouragement and support to subordinates who work together to complete the project tasks. Teamwork is beneficial to an organization because it creates a positive working environment, in addition to a more effective and efficient organization. Promoting teamwork helps to build trust through shared support, resources, and manpower.
4. Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
Giving credit where credit is due builds trust and transparency. Acknowledging a team member’s contribution to a project’s success creates a positive working environment (Dattner, 2012). Leaders can give credit to their team in a number of ways. It may be as simple as a pat on the back and praising them for a job well done, or a more extravagant attempt of acknowledgement, such as public recognition or team lunches. One should be careful though on the amount of credit given, however. If too much credit is dished out, it dilutes the effect it is intended to provide. This could, in turn, reduce trust that was recently gained. Aside from this minor cautionary statement, giving credit to team members helps build trust amongst team members knowing that their collaborative efforts have been noticed and recognized by their leadership group.
5. Avoid Micromanagement
When a leader micromanages personnel, it shows that they do not trust the individual or they don’t have faith in the person doing the job. When working in teams, a leader can create a culture of trust by avoiding micromanagement. By simply giving the team the autonomy to complete project tasks, team members will respect their responsibilities and further trust their leader. Leaders must understand that there is always more than one way to perform a task. Therefore, instead of giving the team a step-by-step process on how to complete tasks, a leader should let them use their best judgment to make informed decisions. Consequentially, leaders should always be sure to monitor the progress, provide deadlines, and provide support and feedback when needed. If a leader skews in the opposite direction and provides little or no leadership, project tasks are likely to spiral out of control very quickly. Learning how to avoid micromanagement can help to create a culture of trust because the project team feels that they have the freedom to make decisions. This, in turn, boosts their self-confidence in the long run and a project is likely to be completed in less time otherwise (Vessella, 2016).
6. Be Authentic
Conclusively, when working in teams, a leader can create a culture of trust by exhibiting authentic behavior. Leaders often display authentic behavior by simply showing their team that they are genuine and that they have good motives and intentions. If a leader portrays themselves as someone they aren’t, the chance that trust is built is next to none. The only way trust can be built is for them to be genuine (Henke, 2017). As long as they show the team that they are more concerned about the big picture and the persons making that a reality, as opposed to their own personal interests, leaders can easily foster a culture of trust. It is as simple as that.
Dr. Danielle Jenkins provides insights and tips on how to strategically run your business in the most efficient manner possible.