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Businessman Warren Buffet was once quoted to say “Trust, is like the air we breathe. When it’s present, nobody really notices. But, when it’s absent, everybody notices.” Trust is an invaluable part of building a successful team and ultimately a successful organization. It defines the overall culture and speaks volumes about what leadership values. Creating a high-trust organization is not something that just happens, rather it is built over time and with a great deal of care. Having the correct tools to develop a high trust team is an integral part of creating this type of internal culture.

Employees within high-trust organizations believe the executive team is credible and will do what they say. Because team members see consistency among leadership, they know the business practices of management are ethical and they have confidence in their vision. Additionally, fair treatment is a crucial part of earning trust among team members. This means that regardless of their position, employees feel valued.

For their part, leadership within a high-trust team makes sure that employees feel respected and they take the time to support the professional growth of team members. They also listen to employee ideas regarding the decision making process and weigh them carefully when making plans.

In 2015, Interaction Associates conducted a study of over 500 individuals within organizations of 100 or more team members to determine the impact of high-trust teams on overall business effectiveness. The study found that high-trust organizations had more effective leadership and better collaborative efforts across all levels. Additionally, the following is true of high-trust teams:

  • Strong sense of shared purpose
  • Collaboration in working together to support that purpose
  • An organizational culture that values tolerance and cooperation
  • Leadership who utilized coaching tools rather than just managing teams
  • Seek input from various individuals for decision making
  • Develop and articulate a higher cause
  • Practice what they preach
  • Have a team approach in all areas of business culture
  • Empower employees
  • Transparent and authentic communication
  • Practice fairness
  • Create a loving and caring culture

Like any important relationship, creating a culture of trust within an organization takes time and effort. The first step is to understand the need for trust within your team and determine that you are willing to do the work to create this type of internal culture. Other steps to creating high-trust teams include:

1. Assess the level of trust – While this might seem like a no-brainer, it is a step that is often overlooked. Understanding what you are up against is an important part in creating the desired end result. If trust levels are low within your organization, it might be better to employ the skills of a third party. Often times, team members are more comfortable talking to an outsider than management if trust is lacking.
2. Be transparent in reporting your finding – Even if the results are contrary to what you had hoped, telling team members what was discovered is an important part of demonstrating trustworthiness.
3. Assess yourself and ask other leaders to do the same – Being open to criticism is an important part of growing as a leader. It also demonstrates to team members that you recognize your shortcomings but are willing to do the work to improve.
4. Develop programs and tools to help maintain or create positive trust – Once you know the baseline of trust within your organization, it is important to get the proper training and tools to help create a high-trust culture within your organization.

ALCN provides organizations the tools they need to develop high-trust teams. Our corporate coaching programs are designed to help leaders be more effective in their roles and create a corporate coaching culture within their organization. For more information, contact our team today.

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